Time to stop whining about losing old music venues. Charlotte’s music scene can thrive with these new adaptive sites.

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The loss of the Double Door Inn, Amos’ South End, Tremont Music Hall and the Chop Shop left a gap in the Charlotte music scene between neighborhood bars and Live Nation venues. Businesses known for things other than music are stepping up to fill that gap.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewing, in partnership with 1065 The End, hosted an acoustic AWOLNATION concert the afternoon prior to the band’s late February show at The Fillmore. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra has stepped off the stage and played in front of capacity crowds at NoDa Brewing and Triple C Brewing.

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The adaptive reuse bug has bitten the Charlotte music scene, as The Music Yard is hosting a weekly concert series in what used to be a paint store parking lot. Check out the full spring lineup here. Tickets are free, but you do need to register so they can manage the crowd size.

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The Shed Amphitheater at The Station House, formerly a portion of a parking lot for a large warehouse, was home to “pop-up” concerts in the fall and will host a music festival called Digital Gardens later this month, April 20-21. That electronic music festival will feature the likes of Bear Grillz and BTSM. Tickets for the festival range in price from $40-$145.

NoDa Brewing will be hosting JJ Grey & Mofro in its first full-scale concert on June 24, which is being advertised as the first in a series of shows. The relocated Crown Station is in a bigger space with a lineup that, like its former neighbor Double Door Inn, offers weekly shows from jazz and reggae artists that rarely have a regular platform in the city. Make sure to go to their free Zodiac Party this Saturday or their free Reggae Bash every Sunday at 5 p.m.

The preserved buildings at Camp North End host a variety of events, including bands at its weekly Friday Nights series, with the capacity to host larger music shows.

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Beyond alternative venues hosting these events, they need to be supported in order for the local music scene to grow. Large, empty indoor and outdoor spaces at breweries and places like Camp North End provide flexibility for other events if attendance at music shows flop. Repurposed parking lots along the Blue Line will quickly be devoured by our car-obsessed city if musicians are playing in front of sparse crowds.

The culture of the community is defined by its people, not inanimate buildings that are gone and never coming back. As much as local music supporters miss the old venues, they were simply buildings whose owners decided to make a different investment.

If the people who whine online about traditional music venues closing also refuse to support those who put together shows to fill in that gap between bars and Live Nation venues, they are part of the problem right alongside new apartments and avocado toast (or whatever the tired complaint du jour happens to be).

While it’s understandable that some people are still mourning the loss of those buildings, alternative music venues, like breweries, former factories and redeveloped parking lots, represent local business owners investing in the future of Charlotte’s music scene. It’s advantageous for the culture of our community to have these grassroots efforts, particularly if they are expanded due to widespread support.

Photo: The Shed Amphitheater/Charlotte Observer file

3 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t forget Bojangles Coliseum, where you can buy delicious Bojangles chicken, biscuits and fixins before the show!

  2. Badly missed the mark on this article. A brewery or a parking lot is not a music venue. They are places people go to drink, socialize, and have fun that are also featuring live music. Those “old inanimate buildings” were anything but; they were music venues first with character, history, personality, and a living breathing space. That’s why us music fans are “whining” about their demise.

  3. New venues are always appreciated but it comes as no surprise that someone who has only been in Charlotte since ’08 can’t fully appreciate the history of these venues. You sound like a real estate lackey or someone who didn’t do their research.

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