Blacksburg’s DIY: Guerrilla concerts keep town music scene alive

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BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 5 – The Litterbox – Cody Carroll sits on the porch of his Blacksburg home which, on some nights, turns into a destination for local bands and their fans.

by Dylan Holliday–

With over 20 restaurants, 13 bars, two movie theatres and a hookah lounge, the nightlife in Blacksburg, Virginia is vibrant and well. However, a few residents are offering up their own homes to provide makeshift venues for bands to play and music-lovers to enjoy away from the businesses on Main Street.

The residences of Virginia Tech student Cody Carroll and Jonathan Lockwood – dubbed “The Litterbox” and “Clockwood Manor” respectively – are where most of the makeshift, guerrilla concerts take place in Blacksburg. Between the two, so far ten events are scheduled for the year and range from hip-hop shows to punk rock concerts.

These concerts are primarily promoted through Facebook’s event page feature which allows Carroll and Lockwood to reach the community easily.

“They used to have a lot of street posters,” Carroll said about how the do-it-yourself music scene used to promote their events when he arrived in town as a freshman in college. “But now it’s just through Blacksburg DIY Music [Facebook page].”

This DIY concert scene is mostly a response to the lack of music venues in town. According to Downtown Blacksburg’s website, only four of downtown Blacksburg’s storefronts offer opportunities for musicians either in the town or wanting to come to the town. Even the venues that do offer opportunities for musicians are asking for hundreds just for booking a show time.

“Sometimes now, depending on the person, they’ll make you pay $200 if you book your own bands,” Carroll said.

For now, spaces like The Litterbox will operate as one of the town’s few remaining musical outlets.

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