CARRBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cat's Cradle, the legendary live music venue in Carrboro, has been a Triangle staple for over a half-century. After COVID closed their doors -- then led to months of new requirements and show cancellations -- they're saying live music is back -- and ticket sales are at a high.
"It is sort of like a renaissance in terms of the, you know, the numbers of tickets sold and then the just the amount of acts that are touring we're getting this year," said Frank Heath, majority owner of Cat's Cradle.
Heath's seen his music joint host the likes of Nirvana and other big-ticket acts on their way to stardom throughout the years. But during COVID, the way forward became unclear. Heath says the area's small business backbone -- including a special, recorded release from local musicians -- helped them survive.
"It was a release of 20 years of songs that were specifically for Cat's Cradle that raised gosh, $50,000 or $60,000, for us. So that was, you know, it was amazing," Heath said.
Now, after over 50 years in business, Heath says ticket sales have exceeded levels reached in 2018 and 2019 -- despite inflation -- and that the Triangle's live music scene has hit a high note.
"Audiences don't seem to be balking at somewhat higher ticket prices, which again, I think shows their appreciation for what was missing here in the pandemic for sure," he said.
Singer-songwriter Eliza McLamb grew up attending shows at Cat's Cradle before launching her own career. On Monday, she took the stage for the first time and reflected on what makes music in the Triangle different.
"I think there is such a great sense of community here that is not always present in those bigger cities like L.A. or New York. You know, just people that you see around the community," said McLamb.
She says the area's indie venues have thrived because they have a heartbeat.
"It's really important to be able to grow your artistry by playing at places that really care about your music and are going to make it a good experience for you and for the people who are going to come to see you," said McLamb.