Photo by Alex Boerner
The Carolina Theatre in Durham
The Carolina Theatre has had a rough year.
In December, the historic venue—which is owned by the city of Durham, which in turn pays an annual subsidy of about $600,000 to the nonprofit Carolina Theatre of Durham to operate it—announced that it had run up about a million-dollar deficit. Since then, CEO Bob Nocek, COO Aaron Bare, and talent booker Jared McEntire have all exited stage left, and the city has agreed to commit up to $600,000 (contingent upon matching donations) to help bail the theater out.
Dan Berman is now running the joint, trying to steer it back to calmer financial waters. When we spoke to Berman
a few months ago, he mentioned that he was considering outsourcing booking rather than hiring a replacement for McEntire. Today, the theater announced a partnership with National Shows 2, a Nashville-based concert promotion company, that will bring "at least 60 national touring acts [to] the historic theatre each year."
“This partnership allows the theatre to leverage the prestige and booking power of NS2, one of the country’s most active live event promoters,” Berman said in a release. "It enables us to increase the number and variety of offerings at the Carolina at the same time that we dramatically reduce the economic risk of producing such a busy calendar of national touring artists.”
NS2 has a similar arrangement with the Charleston Music Hall. The release notes that NS2 has co-promoted seventy shows in Charleston over the past year, including Keb’ Mo’, Gregg Allman, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Shovels & Rope and Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Juke Box.
The company has already begun booking shows at the Carolina. Those include Wood Brothers (Oct. 12) and the Mavericks (October 21).