Down by Downtown returns, brings business back to downtown Roanoke

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The live music scene is back in Downtown Roanoke.

On Thursday, April 15, crowds were seen inside Three Notch’d Brewing Company, singing along and dancing to the tunes of Solacoustix.

The local group is just one of several performers participating in a three-day music festival known as “Down by Downtown.”

“It’s that opportunity for [people] to check out all these things and have it feel vibrant and alive,” said Julia Boas, Event Director for the Roanoke Outside Foundation.

The annual event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, with COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and appropriate safety measures, organizers decided the show must go on.

“To know that we can start getting back out there in a safe way,” said Boas, “and that soon we’re gonna be in a place where we’re hopefully back to normal, that’s our goal.”

For the next three days, shows will be held at different venues throughout the downtown Roanoke area, ranging in size, from the Berglund Center and Elmwood Park Amphitheater to Three Notch’d Brewing Company and Sweet Donkey Coffee House.

“We’re super stoked. We’re very excited to have folks in,” said Emily Laney, General Manager at Three Notch’d Brewing Company.

Laney says she’s excited to see more customers and explore the city’s music scene.

“It’s something that helps lend Roanoke a bit of a distinction,” Laney said. “It gives us a flavor that some other places may not have.”

Thursday’s event at the brewery has already brought out locals and tourists alike.

“It’s amazing. Anytime you can get together and listen to live music, is fabulous,” said Shannon Farrell, a native of Detroit.

The festival is not only a way to showcase the art of music, but a light at the end of the tunnel during the dark times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even if it’s just a little bit of what it was, I think there’s a good chance that it’s the start of a really awesome season where a lot of people will get to have a good time,” Laney said.

For the music festival’s full lineup, visit the Down by Downtown website.

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