• New push for major local music festival and stadium concerts underway

    By: Paul Boyd

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A unique local music coalition is taking shape in Charlotte.

    City council members and music enthusiasts Larken Egleston and Tariq Bokhari are leading the charge to strengthen Charlotte's music scene.

    "If we all team up, there's no reason this shouldn't be a successful effort," Egleston said.

    "We definitely have a lot of work to do," added Bokhari .

    The burgeoning coalition consists of tourism leaders, music venue representatives and local musicians and artists.

    During a summit this week, the leaders determined their first step is to build a strong local foundation, then look for new growth opportunities such as stadium concerts and launching a major music festival in Charlotte.

    The city leaders believe music can be a catalyst for economic growth in Charlotte.

    "You don't just go to a concert. You go out to dinner then you go to the concert. Then you might go and have drinks afterward,” Egleston said. "That's a night out and that's disposable income that you're putting back into the local economy.”

    Bokhari points to the revenue generated in cities like Austin and Nashville every year.            

    "We saw the quantified economic development of one to multiple billions of dollars that this creates," Bokhari said.

    While there are certainly a few smaller music festivals already running in Charlotte, there is nothing on the scale of South by SouthWest in Austin or Bonaroo in Tennessee.

    Bank of America Stadium could factor into the equation as well. The City of Charlotte currently has the right to use the stadium five days every year.

    It's too early to say what role tax dollars or incentives could play in all of this.

    Bokhari and Egleston were reluctant to give any timeline for developing a new festival. Their upstart music coalition is set to meet again in coming weeks.

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