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Music festival muddy but unforgettable experience

October 11th, 2013 1:30 pm by KATIE EDWARDS, INK columnist

Music festival muddy but unforgettable experience

Sullivan South senior Katie Edwards is a girl with a strong passion for all things music. She shares her opinions and experiences of the local music scene each month in “The Indie Record.”

For the first article of my senior school year, I had intended on scanning the local scene for bands around here that you should check out. However, I was presented with the opportunity to attend my first major music festival. I’ve been to a few concerts in my life, but nothing like the festival on Sept. 21 in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Ga., known as Music Midtown.

What better way to start off the year than with an experience like that?

The weather, however, was miserable — the heavy rain was so steady that, eventually, I couldn’t even feel it. But the music was all I cared about, and the bands I was able to see completely made up for my possible future psychological fear of rain.

As usual, the schedule was laid out from the lesser known bands to the headliners.

As soon as I arrived, I was greeted with the sound of The Neighbourhood, an alternative band formed in 2011 and one whose music I’ve had a love affair with for about a year now. Even over the sound of the rain, they put on a good show to a relatively small crowd of people, finishing their one-hour set with their hit “Sweater Weather.” The lead singer commented: “This song we sing about sweaters is not as good as the one Weezer is going to sing after we get off the stage.”

That being said, Weezer followed The Neighbourhood and rocked out with their own song about sweaters, “Undone (The Sweater Song).”

Reignwolf, Arctic Monkeys, Imagine Dragons, Queens of the Stone Age, and the headlining Red Hot Chili Peppers followed.

The one I was most looking forward to was Arctic Monkeys, who have been my favorite band for three years, and (of course) Red Hot Chili Peppers, whom I grew up listening to thanks to my brother and parents.

Arctic Monkeys recently released a new album “AM” and played various new tracks from that album, as well as classic songs from four older albums. On the six-hour drive down to Atlanta, I was able to convert my dad into a lover of Arctic Monkeys and its distinct British alt-rock sound. If you haven’t already, you really should check them out.

More and more people gradually pooled into the park lawn, hoping to see the bigger bands. Once, I looked outside the fences to a line that, according to Atlanta’s news coverage, was more than two miles long and winding down 10th Street in midtown Atlanta.

The cloud cover over the park was so thick that the satellites connecting to the ticket scanners couldn’t process information, making the scanners slow and dysfunctional. Eventually, the coordinators made the executive decision to let people in the old-fashioned way — by tearing tickets.

Through more than six hours of near constant rain and overcast skies, the patrons of Music Midtown stuck it out with one general basis for being there: to listen to some good music with people we can relate to on some level.

Even at this festival of more than 100,000 people, there was a feeling of camaraderie among all the differing types of concert-goers.

I guess that was the whole concept of the festival — we were all there for the music. We sloshed through mud pits and almost drowned in nonstop rain, all just to see and hear some good music. You didn’t necessarily have to love the band before you saw them; it’s all in the experience.

Music, no matter where or when, forms a camaraderie for almost all types of people all over the world.

Sullivan South senior Katie Edwards is a girl with a strong passion for all things music. She is a student, a writer and a critic who, despite being opinionated, tries to keep an open mind. She shares her opinions and experiences of the local music scene each month in “The Indie Record.”

(Note: The opinions expressed on the INK page are those of the columnists and not necessarily those of the Times-News).

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