After being rejected twice by the city of Atlanta, promoters of a hip-hop festival planned for April hope to hold it at the Georgia International Horse Park in nearby Conyers, Ga., 27 miles east of do

After being rejected twice by the city of Atlanta, promoters of a hip-hop festival planned for April hope to hold it at the Georgia International Horse Park in nearby Conyers, Ga., 27 miles east of downtown Atlanta. Town officials have agreed to host the Urban Hip-Hop Music Festival at the park during the April 11 weekend.

However, a co-sponsor of the proposed festival, the national Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, says it will not participate. The group, founded by former NAACP head Benjamin Chavis and hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, is responsible for attracting musical headliners such as Nelly and Eminem to the festival.

"It appears that some members that were connected with the original plans have negotiated with an alternative site in Conyers," Chavis said. "We wish them well and pray for their success." Chavis is exploring staging a "hip-hop peace concert" in an unspecified indoor venue in the metro area April 12-13.

The 1,400-acre Georgia International Horse Park, with concert seating for 17,000, was built for equestrian events during the 1996 Olympics. It has been the scene of performances by Kenny Rogers and Patty Loveless.

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's chief of staff, Greg Pridgeon, said there was concern that city resources would be strained by allowing the concert downtown. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival held the same weekend draws 100,000 people.

Conyers Mayor Randy Mills said he expects about $100,000 in sales taxes from the event for Rockdale County's school system and local government. "This is a pretty big hit," Mills said. "We think this is going to have a great economic impact on the community."


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