May. 07th, 2017

We made the Lake Norman Citizen

Primal lands major concert for new venue
Written by Lee Sullivan

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Several years ago, while enjoying the music, atmosphere and beverages at the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville, beer-making enthusiasts David Hoy and Ray Steimel decided it was time to act on their long-discussed plans to open a craft beer pub.

And next month, almost two-and-one-half years since the pair opened Primal Brewery on N.C. 115 near downtown Huntersville, another part of their vision will become a reality when the internationally acclaimed band Lake Street Dive headlines a concert at Primal’s new outdoor setting.

The concert, representing a significant step in Primal’s evolution into a regular venue for concerts and festivals, will be held Sunday, June 4. Opening acts are set to begin at 4 p.m. Tickets, which cost $27 in advance ($32 the day of show) and a limited number of $47 VIP tickets, are on sale now at Primal, 16432 Old Statesville Road. Information and tickets are also available at and

Lake Street Dive is a Boston-based band with a hard-to-categorize bluesy, jazz sound that in the last 13 years has cultivated a strong national and international following. The four-member band, featuring the powerful vocals of lead singer Rachael Price, has made numerous television appearances, and last year expanded its fan base further with a lauded, unplugged performance on National Public Radio’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series.

The Huntersville concert will be part of a Lake Street Dive tour that includes performances at this week’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, a May 31 show at the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and future concerts in New York, Vermont, Charleston, Chicago and California. Landing the band’s only Charlotte-area performance on its current schedule represents a major coup for Primal.

“This is a big deal for us, and for Huntersville and for the entire Lake Norman area,” Steimel says. “The choice came down to us and Charlotte. The band preferred an outdoor venue and we had what they wanted.”

And Hoy, who says inquiries about the event — including six from the United Kingdom — started the day tickets went on sale, added that the concert featuring such a high-caliber act, with attendance expected in the 1,500 to 2,000 range, will be a good learning experience as Primal moves forward with plans to hold larger-scale music events.

“We’ve had an emphasis on music since we opened,” Hoy says. “We have open mic night on Mondays and live music on the weekends featuring some talented regional and national musicians. And we’ve put on a half dozen or so ‘Primal Jams’ events each year, but this is bigger, and the type of event we plan to have more often.”

The acquisition of some neighboring property — the Primal site now covers a full three acres — and the creation of a half-acre beer garden have been part of Primal’s steady growth, which makes hosting larger events possible, but the cozy, family- and conversation-friendly atmosphere also remains, by design, a primary Primal attraction.

“From the beginning, we wanted a pub experience, a place to come over, hang out, enjoy a craft beer and have a conversation,” Hoy says. “Live music is a natural fit, and now we’re in position to expand on that. ”

An outdoor stage and four outdoor bars will be added for the June concert, and Primal’s vast selection of beer varieties — at regular, everyday prices — will be available along with food from the Lake Norman Grill food truck that now has a steady presence at the brewery.