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Salt Lake City has a new music venue, designed to create a ‘festival-style’ vibe

Granary Live has concerts set for this summer, and will host the Utah Beer Festival.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Corbin Mitchell with Backyard Greens rolls out turf grass at the Granary Live venue in Salt Lake City's Granary District, Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

An outdoor music venue has opened in Salt Lake City’s Granary District — what one of its ownership partners calls a “festival-style pop-up type of a venue.”

Granary Live, at 742 S. 500 West, Salt Lake City, opened in mid-June, turning what was a parking lot into a grassy spot for up to 7,500 people to take in a summer concert.

Vaughn Carrick — a Salt Lake City native and is owner of of Live Night Events, which will produce the venue’s shows — said he and his Granary Live partners have been looking for a spot for a new venue for awhile.

“We’ve been in the concert and festival world in Utah, and kind of across the United States, going on almost 20 years now,” Carrick said. “For us, it was more about just trying to find the right partners that were willing to support us and our vision to produce live concerts.”

That partner, he said, ended up being BCG Holdings LLC, a Salt Lake City real estate developer.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lighting and sound technicians climb scaffolding while setting up Granary Live's first venue in Salt Lake City's Granary District, Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

They chose the Granary District — a few blocks south and west of Salt Lake City’s central downtown area — because it’s an “up and coming” part of the city, Carrick said, and an area they want to see grow. The district also works with the style of shows they want to produce, he said.

Granary Live will mainly host national touring acts, Carrick said, though they will include local acts to support the headliners. This summer, the venue will welcome rappers Shaggy and Sean Kingston (on July 6), the reggae/dub band Stick Figure (July 14), the Utah Is For Lovers festival headlined by the punk rock band Alkaline Trio (July 21), rapper Tyga (July 22), the electronic duo Loud Luxury (July 28), and rapper/actor Ludacris (August 24).

The venue also is set to be the host for the 13th annual Utah Beer Festival, on August 19 and 20.

Granary Live is just a couple of blocks away from Salt Lake City’s legendary garage music venue Kilby Court, run by S&S Presents. Kilby Court is much smaller, with a capacity of about 200 people. The intimate venue has seen the likes of Peach Pit, Doja Cat, Phoebe Bridgers and other artists. Kilby Court also plays host to the annual Kilby Court Block Party, which brought dozens of bands and thousands of fans to the Utah State Fairpark in May.

Carrick said Granary Live will add to Salt Lake City’s already rich music scene.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lighting and sound technicians climb scaffolding while setting up Granary Live's first venue in Salt Lake City's Granary District, Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

“The market in Salt Lake is very healthy when it comes to the amount of shows and the success of the shows that are coming in,” he said, adding that Granary Live’s bigger capacity will offer something different than other venues.

Carrick said he’s not worried about potential noise complaints from residents of nearby developments popping up in the Granary District. (One such development has been proposed near Fisher Brewing on 800 South, near Kilby Court, and another could be going up a block north of Granary Live, according to the website Building Salt Lake.)

Every major city has a neighborhood like the Granary District, Carrick said. The venue “is only going to help and drive those people to want to live in that area, because of everything that is happening … with all the different restaurants, the art scene and all the local community aspects.”

A music venue — even one that, because of city noise ordinances, ends its shows by 10 p.m. — “only benefits, and kind of amplifies, whoever is living down there and their experience of being downtown,” Carrick said.