The Wallflowers Headline Freedom First Down by Downtown Festival - Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

April 22, 2023

The Wallflowers Headline Freedom First Down by Downtown Festival

The Freedom First Down by Downtown Music Festival is back in a big way with headliner The Wallflowers. The ticketed show will headline the festival in Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke, VA on Saturday, April 16 alongside the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon race festivities.

The four-day music festival, created to showcase the city’s vibrant downtown, will feature 15 or more shows at 11 different venues from Thursday, April 14 through Sunday, April 17. Performances include a variety of genres from acoustic sets in intimate settings, to rock concerts at outdoor breweries, to funk and reggae shows at local venues, to this year’s national act in Roanoke’s outdoor amphitheater.

For the past 30 years, The Wallflowers have stood as one of rock’s most dynamic and purposeful bands – a unit dedicated to and continually honing a sound that meshes timeless songwriting and storytelling with a hard-hitting and decidedly modern musical attack.

That signature style has been present through the decades, from 90’s hits like “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache”, to their recently released album Exit Wounds. The band is also known for lead-singer and primary songwriter Jakob Dylan, who is legendary song-writer Bob Dylan’s son.

“The festival was founded as a way for venues to work together to shine a light on Roanoke’s music scene, and by shining that light, grow it into something special,” said Kait Pedigo, events manager for Roanoke Outside. “The pandemic hit and could’ve stopped things, but it’s 2022 now and the venues are working together, Freedom First is championing the event, Berglund is involved, and we have a great act like the Wallflowers. All that’s left is for Roanokers to come out and show that this live music culture is important to them.”

The partnership between Down by Downtown and Freedom First is part of a larger regional economic development initiative of the Roanoke Regional Partnership and Roanoke Outside Foundation, with a goal to add to the vitality of the community and in the process, help attract talent and business investment to the Roanoke Region of Virginia.

“Our mission as a financial institution is ingrained in supporting the Roanoke Region,” said Steve Hildebrand, Senior VP of Marketing for Freedom First Credit Union. “Working with Down by Downtown to showcase our great community and support our local arts and culture seems like a natural fit. We are looking forward to four days of great live music.”

Since 2009, Roanoke Outside Foundation, the non-profit that owns and operates the marathon and the music festival, has been changing the region’s narrative to one that plays to its strength, the outdoor lifestyle. That community culture is attractive to young professionals – a healthy active region with vibrant nightlife that includes live music, breweries, and diverse food offerings.

Participating venues in the 2022 Freedom First Down by Downtown are Elmwood Park Amphitheater, Martin’s Downtown, 5 Points Music Sanctuary, Big Lick Brewing Company, Starr Hill Pilot Brewery and Side Stage, Three Notch’d Brewing Company, Twisted Track Brewpub, Sweet Donkey Coffee House, Fork in the Market, The Jefferson Center, and The Spot on Kirk.

Tickets for the Saturday, April 16 The Wallflowers concert at Elmwood Park are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate. Tickets are on sale now at

Individual venues may have separate ticket prices, and links to those pages along with the full lineup can be found at

Individual venues may have separate ticket prices, and links to those pages along with the full lineup can be found at

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