Music Lovers Guide to Down by Downtown Music Festival 🎶

What started as a grassroots effort by local music lovers has evolved into a full-fledged festival that proves why Roanoke is the musical epicenter of Southwest Virginia. The Freedom First Down by Downtown Festival is a four-day celebration that happens in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Marathon weekend where the vibrant heart of Roanoke can show off and show out at all of our top venues.

From Thursday, April 18 through Sunday, April 21 you can roam around this funky mountain metro, and waltz into any venue, for an unforgettable journey. This year the festival is expanding its reach by also tapping into the city’s dynamic arts culture (more on that to come).

Margo Price Tix

Feeling Adventurous? Explore Venues Across the City

Our favorite part about the Down by Downtown Music Festival is how the entire city feels alive with every brewery, coffee shop, amphitheater, and music venue pulsing with the sounds of artists from around the globe. It’s such a perfect weekend to experience live music in our region’s urban core and discover interesting hot spots you may have never visited before.

  • Elmwood Park Amphitheater The city’s heart beats in this sprawling park. The iconic amphitheater serves as the festival center. Spread a blanket on the grassy hill, grab some food from local food trucks, and lose yourself in the music.
  • Martin’s Downtown: This iconic downtown bar and grill holds a special place in Roanoke’s nightlife. Live music, burgers, pickle shots… be sure you end at least one night of the festival here. They’ll have live music offerings like Lua Flora, Captain Midnight, and Pierce Edens on all three nights of DxdT.
  • The Spot on Kirk: This intimate venue is a music-listening haven. No bad seats and a chance to connect with artists on a whole new level. Enjoy a diverse lineup of shows ranging from comedy acts to family-friendly performances.
  • 5 Points Music Sanctuary: A 20’s-era church reimagined as a music venue with the power of sound at its core, this is a special venue where live events support programs for hearing loss, music therapy, and music education.

  • Big Lick Brewing Company: Relax on their spacious patio and enjoy craft brews paired with live music.
  • Twisted Track Brewpub: Indulge in upscale pub fare and creative small-batch brews while being entertained.
  • Golden Cactus Brewing Company: Immerse yourself in their Instagram-worthy décor while savoring craft beer and foodie faves.
  • Blindhouse Beer Company: They aren’t doing any shows this year for Down by Downtown, but if you’re turning it into a walking, craft beer tour, you’ll wanna hit this one as well.

Down by Downtown will be continuously announcing new live acts over the next six weeks, follow along @DownbyDowntown so you don’t miss anything. If you want to take an even deeper dive into our region’s rich musical heritage, and all the places you can visit year-round check out the Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge live music page.

An up-and-coming music beat publication and newsletter has been making waves and could also be a fun way to keep your finger on the pulse of all things music in the Roanoke Region. View the latest edition of The City Salt here, and sign up for the City Salt newsletter.