|ASSOCIATED PRESS ATLANTA|
Peppers, 2 Chainz headline Music Midtown
ATLANTA (AP) — Imagine Dragon's Wayne "Wing" Sermon remembered hearing all the childhood stories drummer Daniel Platzman used to tell about the Music Midtown Festival.
"He made it seem like
an epic thing," said Sermon, the guitarist of the four-man rock
group. They're among 22 acts that will perform at the two-day festival,
which kicks off in Piedmont Park in downtown Atlanta on Friday.
"It's kind of where
(Platzman) fell in love with live music," Sermon said. "It
was always one of his ambitions to play there. With all the people performing,
it's going to be ridiculous. I definitely can't wait."
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix,
Kendrick Lamar, Journey, 2 Chainz and Weezer are some of the top acts
at the festival, which drew more than 90,000 people last year. This
year's performances will take place on three different stages.
"I might have to break
through security to get to them," he said. "They're one of
my idols. I grew up listening to them from the early days. They're very
influential to me and the band. They are legends."
"I think people believe
it's better to go backstage or see the bands from the side of the stage,"
Merchant said. "But the reality is that it sounds crappy from there.
It's more fun to watch the show out in the crowd in front of the speakers."
But Peter Conlon, co-founder
of the event with Alex Cooley, decided to cancel the 2006 festival because
the event became too expensive. He also said the rain each day put a
damper on the festival, which was held in what he called a "congested
area" behind the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.
At the time, Music Midtown
became too much of a hassle.
"It just didn't make
any sense," said Conlon, who is also the president of Live Nation
Atlanta. "I didn't feel the urge or need to do it any time soon.
People were asking me when I was going to bring it back. But they just
didn't understand the issues."
Since the festival's return,
Coldplay, Foo Fighters, T.I., Black Keys, Ludacris and Pearl Jam have