First ever Music Conference and Spot On new venue for DxDT

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS10)-- Three days of music kicks off in the Star City with more than 40 live Down by Downtown performances over the weekend.

As the concert series continues to grow, there's also a shift to help support local musicians and hopefuls here in Southwest Virginia. For local performers or musicians that are just getting started, this weekend provides them the tools they need to one day perform alongside of these popular bands.

Before the musicians take the stage at night, the Big Lick Music Conference will be taking place during the day. It's an extension to the weekend's already popular music scene, an event that organizers say is really needed in our community.

The seminars will cover everything from new music technology, to song writing and even how to turn your music into money.

"When you're a young band, you instantly think, 'I have to get a record deal to survive,'" says JD Sutphin, with Big Lick Entertainment. "There are so many amazing things that are happening because of technology. When you think about publishing, when you think about having better shows and marketing for your band. It's thinking of yourself as a brand, not just a band. It's incredible the heights that you can reach with that."

The seminars aren't just for bands, they're lessons anyone can use. The ideas and business tactics could help small business owners, entrepreneurs and the average joe who just loves music.

Although the conferences are free to attend, seating space is limited. If you want to attend, register here.

The conferences will take place at a newly reopened Downtown music venue, The Spot on Kirk.

That's the location of the former Kirk Avenue Music Hall, which for years brought some of the best music to the Roanoke Valley. Nearly two years ago, the last performance ended and the music faded at the cozy venue on Kirk Avenue.

After standing vacant for about 18 months, the music venue has reopened, under a new name-- The Spot on Kirk. But when it comes to music, the goals are the same. The new owners are looking to bring in a variety of different music styles and artists.

Since the grand reopening in March, there have already been several sold out performances. Now owners are hoping for big turnouts at the nine free concerts that will take place there throughout the weekend.

"A lot of people come in and they are listening to the music, saying, 'Oh my gosh, this sounds even better than it did before," says the Spot on Kirk's Bruce C. Bryan. "What happens is, people forget how good it sounded. So now it's great, and people are so appreciative and supportive of what we're doing. They know there was a gap, and like anything else, it's not something people see and recognize until its gone. It was gone and now it's back."

It's a void that the Spot on Kirk will fill not just this weekend, but year round.

Daily Music Venues:


Awful Arthur's Downtown-- Lion in the Mane (9 p.m.), Practice Squad (10 p.m.), Graces Downfall (11 p.m.)

The Quarter-- Crys Matthews (8 p.m.), Adam Rutledge (9 p.m.), Emma Bilyou (10 p.m.)

The Spot on Kirk-- Seph & TK (8 p.m.), Stolen Rhodes (9 p.m.), Sarah Jane McDonald (10 p.m.)

Martin's Downtown-- The Seismix (10 p.m.), Big Daddy Love (11 p.m.)


Elmwood Park-- Rumpke Mountain Boys and Annabelle's Curse (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

Awful Arthur's Downtown-- Subradio Standard (8 p.m.), Deaf Rhino (9 p.m.), Midnight Mob (10 p.m.), Axis Five (11 p.m.), Neverwake (12 a.m.)

The Quarter-- Matt Urmy (8 p.m.), Brandon Jefferies (9 p.m.), Cary Rutledge (10 p.m.)

Blue 5 Restaurant-- Bradley Steele (9:30 p.m.), Matt Mullins & The Bringdown (11 p.m.)

The Spot on Kirk-- Reve (8 p.m.), The Allrightniks (9 p.m.), Black Mountain Revival (10 p.m.)

Martin's Downtown-- Stone Senate (10 p.m.), The Hip Abduction (11 p.m.)


Elmwood Park-- Galactic, Fake Flowers Real Dirt and OJR (5:30 p.m.)

Awful Arthur's Downtown-- Seven Ten Oil (8 p.m.), Seasons of Me (9 p.m.), Course of Action (10 p.m.), Hate Grenade (11 p.m.), Anonymous Concept (12 a.m.)

The Quarter-- Erik Smallwood (8 p.m.), Dylan Galvin (9 p.m.), Jessica Meuse (10 p.m.)

Blue 5 Restaurant-- Matt Urmy (9:30 p.m.), The Color J (11 p.m.)

The Spot on Kirk-- Daphine & The Mystery Machine (8 p.m.), Loose Strings Band (9 p.m.), Jocelyn & Chris Arndt (10 p.m.)

Martin's Downtown-- Fake Flowers Real Dirt (10 p.m.), Audiodacity (11 p.m.), The Mantras (12 a.m.)