NC Music Factory ribbon-cutting, interview with VP of Entertaiment | CLT Blog
NC Music Factory ribbon-cutting, interview with VP of Entertaiment

NC Music Factory ribbon-cutting, interview with VP of Entertaiment

Posted on 21 Nov 2008 by Justin Ruckman

videography: Justin Ritchie, production: Justin Ruckman; watch this video on Vimeo

Yesterday was crystal clear and unusually warm in Charlotte. At the NC Music Factory ribbon-cutting ceremony, around 150 shuffled inside for live music and hot apple cider.

Watch the video above for highlights from the event, including an interview with Ken Thomas, VP of Entertainment at the Music Factory. Also, special thanks to Ralph Melvin & Associates for allowing us to publish some of the photos they took at yesterday’s event. Their photography and fine art portrait studio was one of the Music Factory’s first occupants, so we’re lucky to be able to share yesterday’s event from the eyes of some “natives”.

There were a lot of big announcements yesterday in regards to the Music Factory’s tenants, partners, and future plans. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Live Nation will be operating both the outdoor amphitheater and the large indoor music hall, now known as Boutique Amphitheater and Fillmore Music Hall, respectively.
  • You might recognize the Fillmore name from its original San Francisco counterpart, the famous music hall that rose to glory in the 60s with acts like The Grateful Dead, The Who, and Pink Floyd. Charlotte’s Fillmore will be 7th in the country.
  • Butter, the popular, swanky restuarant/lounge/club from NYC, will open its 2nd location at the Factory in Charlotte and promises to be like nothing else in the city.
  • Crowbar, a nightclub chain started in Chicago, will open a location at the Factory
  • Wet Willies, a restaurant/bar chain, will also open a location
  • also opening is a National Daiquiri Bar, which appears to be a chain but I can’t find any info about them online

Some additional information about the complex gathered from the various speakers:

  • 2 railroads & 8 private landlords cooperated in the formation of this project
  • it is the largest continuous property owned by one developer inside 277, comprising 35 acres
  • the Music Factory buildings make up 210,000 sq. ft.
  • the site is a former fiber mills factory, which has just recently been recognized by the National Register as a historic landmark
  • every space is now 100% occupied, including 30 practice/rehearsal spaces with a waiting list to get in
  • planned neighboring condos will be developed at more accessible prices than most uptown residences, aimed at the workforce in the <$200k range.
  • musicians could potentially get their start in practice spaces, move into playing at the nightclubs, and eventually get a chance to perform on the big stages, all in the same location
  • a number of office and studio spaces round out the Factory’s offerings, serving as home to Creative Loafing, and various design/creative firms
  • Music Factory viewed as a strategic position for post-economic-crisis development

We need risk takers to help rebuild this economy,” said Mayor Pat, who gave a few words at the ceremony and did the honors of cutting the ribbon. Considering Charlotte’s tendency to tear down the old, the Music Factory stands apart as focused squarely on the future without abandoning its past.

More coverage from yesterday’s event can be found at:

all photos credit: Ralph Melvin & Associates; view at Flickr


  1. JamesWillamor 21 Nov 2008 at 8:49 AM

    This is very exciting! Great photos and video.

  2. kimniption 19 Jan 2009 at 5:14 AM

    I am a local musician from Charlotte and I am sooo excited about The Music Factory. I believe this is just what the Queen city has been craving. It’s very inspiring to know lovers of music care enough to give the public a new level of enjoying entertainment. While also giving the bands a new place to play.