After helping launch Red Hat Amphitheater and break records, GM moves to Cary venue

Arcade Fire brings its “Everything Now Continued Tour,” at Raleigh, N.C.’s Red Hat Amphitheater, Thursday night, July 12, 2018.
Arcade Fire brings its “Everything Now Continued Tour,” at Raleigh, N.C.’s Red Hat Amphitheater, Thursday night, July 12, 2018. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre has a new general manager from a familiar place.

Taylor Traversari, who has been general manager of downtown Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater since it opened in 2010, will move from one municipal-owned venue to another.

His last day with the city of Raleigh, where he also is the Raleigh Convention Center Assistant Director, will be Thursday. After that, he’ll move his office 11 miles west to Cary and begin there on Aug. 20.

“I’m excited about the opportunity, it’s a beautiful place,” Traversari said. “I think it’s time for a career change.”

The two venues have similar attendance capacities — 7,000 for Booth and just under 6,000 for Red Hat — but different programming.

Red Hat presents almost exclusively national-act shows, booked by Live Nation (which also operates Raleigh’s city-owned Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek). Last year, Red Hat set a venue attendance record with more than 122,000 people attending 40 concerts.

It also is the home for high-profile concerts with the Hopscotch Music Festival and the World of Bluegrass in September.

Booth, meanwhile, has the NC Symphony Summerfest concert series, community events like the Dragonboat Festival and Chinese Lantern Festival and foodie events like the Oct. 6 Brunch Festival.

That’s in addition to the national acts booked by primary promoter Outback Concerts. In 2017, Booth had 11 national-act shows with paid attendance of more than 56,000 people. Last year was the second straight that Booth finished the season with a concert-budget surplus, of $86,830.

At Booth, Traversari replaces former general manager Liz McDonald, who left last month for Florida. Management of Red Hat will fall to Doug Grissom, concert venues manager for the City of Raleigh.

He was hired after a wide search in the industry as well as within Outback Concerts, the town of Cary said in a release.

“I don’t foresee significant changes,” said Lyman Collins, cultural arts manager for the town of Cary. “Koka Booth is different from Red Hat in the diversity of events we produce here, and I think Taylor will enjoy learning that aspect of it.”

So far, Booth has seven national-act concerts booked for 2018, with many still to come in the season. It includes Black Violin on Aug. 18; a “Masters of the Mic” hip-hop bill on Aug. 24; Old Crow Medicine Show on Sept. 20; Vince Gill on Sept. 27; and Jason Isbell on Sept. 28.

Collins said management would like to add two more national act concerts.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

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