The event’s former radio partner, alternative rock station 99X, has teamed with Clear Channel Entertainment (CCE) – the largest concert promoter in the U.S. – and plans to throw its own free concert series next summer right across the street from, and on the same night as, On the Bricks.

On The Bricks promoter Marcie Allen of Mad Booking has cut a deal with the more hits-oriented WSTR-Star 94 for her event next year.

Is it ridiculous to host two free concerts simultaneously in the same downtown vicinity? Some think so, and a controversy is brewing. But 99X thinks it’s perfectly logical.

“Anybody who tells you that having two events on the same night in downtown Atlanta is bad for the city has some sort of ulterior motive that they’re not letting you know,” 99X program director Chris Williams told Pollstar. “We’re talking about the city that hosted the Olympics in 1996. … The infrastructure is there.”

99X and CCE plan to host their summer concert series, dubbed Downtown Rocks, in a parking lot owned by Coca Cola. Williams said it’s the same site where his station had a stage at Music Midtown in 1999.

There’s no question that downtown Atlanta could use all the revitalization help it can get. But some think if 99X and CCE were really interested in helping, they’d go about it another way.

“If they wanted to do something great for the city of Atlanta and they wanted to provide more free music, they could have done it on another night,” Star 94 VP/GM Mark Kanov told Pollstar. “There are six other nights of the week they could have done it on.”

Allen tried to remain diplomatic about the situation, saying, “I’m flattered that they think I had such a great idea because [CCE] doesn’t do any free events across the country.”

She added, “There are going to be some issues with having two events right next to each other but at the end of the day, I’m focusing on my event and the bottom line is, I’m not going to get caught up in the political ball game.”

On the record, the folks at 99X say they decided to go with CCE because they had a difference of opinion with Allen and wanted a bigger, better event. Allen says she decided to partner with Star 94 because it reaches a broader audience than 99X.

But Kanov was a little more vocal about the falling out.

He said that after On the Bricks’ debut triumph, 99X wanted to take the event from Allen, and when the two parties were not able to make a deal, Allen turned to Star 94. p”[99X], just out of greed and vindictiveness because they were devastated that they lost [the On the Bricks deal], decided that they would do everything they can to try to put [Allen] out of business,” Kanov contended.

Williams freely admitted that Downtown Rocks was meant to be the same kind of event On the Bricks was this year. He said 99X helped invent and introduce the series to Atlanta and the station doesn’t want to lose the momentum from its success.

“We have a lot of time and energy, and a lot of air time – I mean, geez, hundred’s of thousands, possibly even millions of dollars – invested in training our listeners to come down to downtown Atlanta on Friday nights for a free concert series,” Williams said.

But according to Allen, “The bottom line is, I paid for this entire event. Mad Booking owns the trademark of the name On the Bricks, paid for every single production bill, every band bill, every everything.”

Despite the rivalry, neither side appears to be worried about competing for concert-goers or sponsorships since the demographics of the two radio stations are different. 99X will be going for the kids while Star 94 speaks to a more mature audience.

Only time will tell if downtown Atlanta will be the beneficiary of healthy competition or the victim of a bitter rivalry.