The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday December 6th

Cat’s Cradle helps draw alt-J to Raleigh

Cat’s Cradle has been a staple in the Triangle’s music scene for more than 40 years. The venue has hosted its fair share of premier music acts such as Nirvana, Public Enemy and John Mayer before they were fully established because the intimate setting provides a good space for up-and-coming artists.

As bands develop, many of them maintain their relationship with Cat’s Cradle. Sometimes they outgrow the confines of the approximately 700-person space, but Cat’s Cradle maintains its relationship with these artists by outsourcing them to larger venues.

This is the case for Friday’s alt-J concert, which was outsourced to the 6,000-person Red Hat Amphitheater, through the venues’ partnership with promoter Live Nation. Alt-J, a popular indie-rock band, sold out the show, which is Red Hat’s first of the season.

“It’s always good to kick off the season with maybe our biggest show of the year, and the Cradle has given us this opportunity,” said Taylor Traversari, manager of Red Hat Amphitheater.

Alt-J, Questlove and Alabama Shakes are some of the acts that have previously played at and currently have relationships with Cat’s Cradle but have now outgrown the space, said Glenn Boothe, Cat’s Cradle manager.

Bands are sometimes outsourced to venues that are smaller than the Cradle, such as Motorco. Such cases are usually due to scheduling conflicts or bands that have played several times in Carrboro and are looking to play elsewhere in the Triangle.

“Ultimately, our goal is if a band wants to play in the area, we want them to play and try to be involved in that show any way we can,” Boothe said. “So the venues work together — that’s one of the things about the venues in this market: there’s a lot of cooperation. It’s competitive on one side, but we also cooperate on another side.”

Boothe said outsourcing shows to other venues benefits both parties because Cat’s Cradle helps to bring business to another venue. And it gives the artist the opportunity to play in a market it might not have had access to otherwise.

“It’s mutually beneficial,” Boothe said. “We get to do the show, and they get to be open and have a big night.”

The cooperation between venues exemplifies the artist-friendly nature of the Chapel Hill and Triangle areas, he said.

“UNC as a whole is already pretty open-minded, so I think that combined with the local community makes this area pretty diverse and appealing for artists,” said Mary Claire Brogden, a sophomore advertising major at UNC who will be attending the concert.

“Red Hat is a sweet venue, and alt-J does a great live show. I’m really excited.”


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