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Politics, policy and public safety: Experts explain why a popular Atlanta music festival was canceled

A sad tune is being hummed in Atlanta, where it was announced the popular annual Music Midtown festival is not happening, possibly in part due to the state’s law surrounding guns in public parks.

The event’s cancellation, which brought tens of thousands of music lovers to the city along with tourism dollars they spend has caused disappointment and drawn local and national media attention.

Organizers of events like Music Midtown could look at Georgia’s gun laws and regulation of firearms as being a potential legal liability. If there is a firearms incident, organizers may fear being held legally accountable and sued for any potential damages. The companies and their risk management advisors might think twice about holding large events in Georgia.

Augusta University’s Dr. William Hatcher, an expert when it comes to public administration and social, economic and political institutions in local communities, agrees that event organizers might be rethinking their plans in the state.

“These types of laws have an impact on the economy and the business decisions of firms. We may see future effects on the economic behavior of individuals and firms,” Hatcher said.

This topic could have future economic impact beyond canceled events, including affecting property values and home prices.

Hatcher is a professor of political science and chair of Augusta University’s Department of Social Sciences. He is an expert in the areas of public administration and social, economic and political institutions.

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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

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Avatar photo Written by Kevin Faigle

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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