On the Beat

Walnut Creek and Red Hat, by the numbers

Marilyn Manson, pictured performing at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, N.C., in July 2015, is scheduled to perform at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach on Aug. 2.
Marilyn Manson, pictured performing at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, N.C., in July 2015, is scheduled to perform at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach on Aug. 2. Raleigh News & Observer

Ordinarily, the end of the year is when I would be publishing an attendance wrap-up for city-owned Walnut Creek, Raleigh’s 20,000-capacity amphitheater. But not this year -- or, possibly, ever again.

This is something I did last year, in 2013 and pretty much every year since the place opened in 1991, recapping attendance figures for each show and pondering what they meant about concert-industry trends. For the first time, however, Live Nation (which operates Walnut Creek) is refusing to give out any numbers beyond the total season-attendance figure.

For 2015, that number comes to 353,062. While down considerably from the venue’s mid-1990s peak years when it was drawing more than half-a-million concert-goers per year, that represents a healthy increase over last year’s total attendance of 280,180.

As to Live Nation’s refusal to provide attendance figures for individual shows, that is apparently now company policy.

“Across the board, we have decided to provide less information about our attendance,” said Carrie Davis, Live Nation’s chief communications officer in Los Angeles. “We are under no obligation to provide it to the media.”

What is public is how much money Creek took in for everything from ticket revenue ($9.4 million) to ticket service charges ($1.2 million). A grand total of $21,912,653.09 changed hands over Walnut Creek shows (not counting scalped tickets on the secondary market, of course), a figure that is public record because the city gets a 7 percent cut. That came to more than $1.5 million this year, the bulk of which will go toward upkeep of the facility.

Interestingly enough, show-by-show attendance figures are available for another city-owned amphitheater, 5,900-capacity Red Hat, because rent there is based on attendance rather than revenue with per-head fees for various attendance levels. Red Hat’s total attendance rose slightly this year, to 115,212 from 111,295 in 2014. And based on the formula, the city took in $257,555 for Red Hat this year, up from 2014’s total of $224,329.

Figures for individual Red Hat shows are below (free shows are marked with a *).


5,129 -- Alt-J (4/3)

*4,500 -- Smash Mouth/Rock n’ Roll Marathon (4/12)

1,500 -- Wailers (4/14); moved indoors for weather.

2,834 -- Bryan Adams (4/18)

2,223 -- John Fogerty (5/5)

3,906 -- Brand New, Manchester Orchestra (5/9)

3,455 -- NEEDTOBREATHE (5/15)

*5,990 -- Cold War Kids (5/29)

2,632 -- Morris Day & The Time, Sheila E. (5/30)

1,992 -- Decemberists (6/3)

3,775 -- Third Eye Blind, Dashboard Confessional (6/9)

1,842 -- Flogging Molly, Gogol Bordello (6/16)

4,040 -- Hozier, The Antlers (6/19)

3,514 -- Lindsey Stirling (6/22)

2,250 -- Michael Franti/Band Together (6/27)

1,536 -- Julianne & Derek Hough/Move Live On (7/2)

3,340 -- Barenaked Ladies, Violent Femmes (7/4)

4,116 -- Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, The Expendables (7/17)

2,854 -- Idina Menzel (7/22)

3,219 -- Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Najee (7/24)

4,057 -- Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson (7/26)

2,510 -- My Morning Jacket (7/28)

2,678 -- Faith No More (7/31)

2,926 -- The Piano Guys (8/7)

2,070 -- Sublime, Rome, Rebelution, Pepper, Mickey Avalon (8/10)

3,396 -- Counting Crows, Citizen Cope (8/12)

1,889 -- Australian Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin2 (8/20)

2,278 -- O.A.R. (8/23)

1,972 -- Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra, Uncle Kracker, Eve 6 (8/28)

2,763 -- Rick Springfield, Loverboy, The Romantics (9/4)

3,021 -- Death Cab For Cutie (9/15)

4,755 -- “The Lord of The Rings” in Concert (9/18)

5,100 -- Life in Color (9/26)

5,750 -- Wide Open Bluegrass (10/2); moved indoors for weather.

5,400 -- Wide Open Bluegrass (10/3); moved indoors for weather.

TOTAL -- 115,212

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi