If hosting Music Midtown, Jeep World Outside Festival, Ozzfest 2002, Vans Warped Tour, Smokin' Grooves 2002 and countless other concerts and events weren't enough to keep Atlanta residents busy this summer, they've got yet another event to mark on their calendars. The On The Bricks festival makes its return to the Centennial Olympic Park for the second year.
John Mayer headlines the first night of this year's free Friday night concert series. India.arie, The Calling, Rusted Root, Alanis Morissette, The Pat McGee Band, Michelle Branch, They Might Be Giants, Superdrag, Concrete Blonde, Edwin McCain, Better Than Ezra, and Blues Traveler are some of the many other artists on the roster, which runs from May 24 to August 16.
Last year's On The Bricks proved successful beyond expectations, drawing more than a half million people during its 12-week run. More than 40 diverse bands are on this summer's bill, and with Vanilla Coke backing the event it looks to be yet another smash-hit.
While all looks like sunshine and happiness for On The Bricks, there are some clouds of controversy hanging overhead. Atlanta radio station 99X is looking to have its own festival. That may seem fine and dandy to most, but the fact that they want to make it a free Friday night event only yards away from the On The Bricks concerts has more than a few up in arms.
Issues like traffic, huge crowds, alcohol consumption, safety, noise and general logistics are the concerns being raised by the Neighborhood Planning Unit, which is responsible for recommending, or not recommending as it were, a festival permit to Downtown Rocks.
There is a level of spite involved in the rival concert series. Mad Booking had partnered with 99X for the inaugural On The Bricks series last year but the two split when they could not decide how to divide proceeds for this year's event. Now, both parties claim ownership of the idea, though Marcie Allen of Mad Booking retained rights to the name.
The proposed Downtown Rocks event is still fighting to get its city permits.