Karen Head’s view of the stage from her floor seat at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The inaugural concert event at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium was not the experience many Garth Brooks’ fans were hoping for judging by social media and eyewitness stories. Sound problems and logistical issues for the capacity crowd left many fans disappointed with the concert and the venue.

Country superstar Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, by all accounts, gave a dazzling show. Former President Jimmy Carter even dropped by to surprise Yearwood with a proclamation from the state for her support of Habitat for Humanity.

But social media lit up as fans complained about being unable to hear the show, especially in the upper levels of the stadium. Some fans looked for better spots, some left.

Occasional INtown contributor Karen Head was at the concert and said sound was not the only issue. Head, who is a season ticket holder for Atlanta United and paid top dollar for two floor seats at the concert, is already familiar with Mercedes-Benz Stadium and loves the venue. However, she said the stadium was not ready for a music concert.

“Signage for those trying to get to their floor seats was unclear, there were Port-a-Potties set up inside the stadium to use the bathroom and you couldn’t even get out to the food and drinks. They brought in portable food and drink stations,” she said. “It was a nightmare.”

Along with the sound, she said a jumbotron over the stage was out of synch with the action on stage and the giant halo screens that circle the ceiling of the stadium.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium officials released this statement: “Garth Brooks played the first concert tonight at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and it was a spectacular show that tens of thousands enjoyed. We have heard some fan concerns about sound quality in certain sections of the upper concourse and sound engineers are looking into that now. We do know that a breaker was tripped that powered speakers in the parts of the upper level for a small amount of time and was resolved.”

The AJC reports that sound and other issues are being investigated, and that unhappy fans are being dealt with on an “individual basis.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.