Music Midtown is a major music festival that takes place in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. In addition to a large line-up of musicians, there are also large crowds and very little parking. That’s where MARTA comes into play and provides a great way to get to and from the festival. See these tips to make the commute easier so you can spend your time enjoying the festivities.
1. Purchase Your Fare Early
Make sure you purchase a roundtrip fare ($5) in advance for each day you plan to attend the festival to avoid lines. Simply stop by any MARTA station and get your fare via the vending machines or if you already have a plastic Breeze Card, you can load your fare online. Allow one hour for processing before riding the train.
If you don’t already have a Breeze Card, there is an additional cost for either a paper ticket or the plastic fare card. The plastic card makes the most sense financially if you plan to ride MARTA at any point in the future, and costs only $1 more.
2. Prepare to Walk or Bike
Whether you are getting on the BeltLine Eastside Trail or taking MARTA, getting to the festival requires some legwork. The Midtown and Arts Center MARTA stations are closest to the festival, with a walking time of about 15 minutes. The closest gate is at 12th and Piedmont Avenue. View walking directions.
You can also bring bikes on MARTA trains or bike to the festival via the BeltLine. Bike valet will be available at the festival at 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive.
3. Know Where to Park
The three parking decks at the Lindbergh Center MARTA station are closest to Music Midtown. Two of the decks are off of Lindbergh Drive and have free daily parking, but no parking past midnight unless you use the long-term parking deck off of Syndey Marcus Blvd.($8 fee). When you enter any of the parking decks, you’ll receive a paper parking ticket. Keep the ticket with you. When you return to Lindbergh Center, you can validate the ticket in a yellow machine within the MARTA station.
4. Consider a Bus
It’s free to ride a bus if you are transferring from a train, and the bus will shorten your commute. Bus 27 is one easy commute option…it has a stop at 14th Street and Piedmont Avenue near one of the entrance gates, and you can board it at the Arts Center MARTA station.
New for 2018, we recommend the 809 route that has connections to all rail lines. Board the bus at Lindbergh Center (red and gold lines) or the King Memorial MARTA station (blue and green lines). Exit the bus at Park Drive (stoplight) and walk into the back end of the park for an entrance gate that’s usually less crowded than the main gate on 10th Street. You can also exit the bus at 10th Street.
Use the MARTA on the Go app for schedules and real-time bus locations on a map. Google Maps will also give you specific stop information, or merely watch your Apple Map or Google Map on your phone with your GPS on to view your location as you travel if you aren’t sure about when to exit the bus. View the bus 809 map to get an overview of the route.
5. Don’t Miss the Train
In the evening, red line trains typically only travel between Lindbergh Center and North Springs. So if you are traveling northbound after the festival, be sure to board the first northbound train that arrives. If your final destination is Buckhead, Medical Center, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs or North Springs, go to the Lindbergh Center MARTA station, exit the train, and wait for a red line train at Lindbergh to continue on.
Otherwise, if you are planning to stay out late after the shows, train service ends just after 1 a.m. so plan for an alternate way home if needed. Train frequency is usually every 20 minutes on the weekend, so use the MARTA on the Go app for real-time train arrivals to plan ahead or bookmark marta.io to see next arriving trains online.