ATLANTA — Atlanta nightlife does not slow down, something proven by the many planned in place events despite the COVID pandemic.
The current state of Atlanta, from events to visitation, has been an ongoing and growing concern since the lockdown, according to many community leaders.
Kodaq Atkinson, an Atlanta resident and culture ambassador, said the pandemic has not been taken seriously in the city of Atlanta.
“I feel like, at this point, if you’re still wearing a mask in Atlanta, they look at you like you’re the weird one,” he said.
All-Star Weekend has shown a great migration into Atlanta. And media expert Jelisa Cook has been noticing the trends.
“People have been traveling here to take advantage of the fact that this city has been open,” Cook said.
Atlanta radio personality Reec Swiney agrees.
“It seems nothing has changed. The pandemic hasn’t slowed anything down, especially when it comes to events,” Swiney said.
Brandon Butler, executive director of Butter ATL, said the timing of All-Star weekend is not great for the city in many ways.
“We appreciate All-Star coming to Atlanta, but we would have appreciated it much more if we really got an opportunity to show off our city at its full ability," Butler said.
In January, mayor Bottoms warned people about coming to Atlanta for events.
“A number of the issues that we’ve had in the city of Atlanta, as we know, have come from people traveling from out of state,” she said.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp reopened bars and nightclubs on June 1, with a range of restrictions in place.
Atkinson has noticed how the city’s nightlife has not slowed down since then.
“Atlanta is open-open. Atlanta has not missed a beat. We were part of the pandemic for the first month. Atlanta has been business as usual,” he said.
Atlanta Mayor Bottoms has been making a plea for people not to travel into the city for events, for people to stay home if possible, and for businesses not to hold events in connection to All-Star Weekend.
NBA officials sent out about 100 cease and desist letters to event promoters using the league name and logo to advertise events.