Baily’s “office,” Louisville Palace

Every time Sean Bailey slides the “unlock” button on his iPhone screen, he has the power to reach more than 17,000 people through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bailey’s the online voice of the Louisville Palace –  the Palace’s community social media organizer–  and founder of LouisvilleMusicCulture.

Over the past two years, Bailey has become one of Louisville’s social media champs and a prophet for the local music community, as the bearded-fellow has given a voice – free of charge –  to the regional music scene with his “micro-blog.”

Bailey’s rise in the local music scene began in 2011 when ear X-tacy closed its doors for good, and Bailey was left without a job.

While ear X-tacy’s closing was a sad day for many in the scene, the distribution of former employees into other corners of the local music scene has led to new and exciting happenings for local music.

For example, former X employees Jaxon Swain and Matt Anthony have seen their influence grow as Swain is a representative at Gill Holland’s sonaBLAST! Records, and Matt Anthony opened up his own record store and has seen his popularity as a DJ continue to rise.

Former ear X-tacy owner John Timmons can now be heard on WFPK.

But no former X employee has seen his local music influence explode like Bailey, who created LouisvilleMusicCulture during the last days at ear X-tacy. “I created LouisvilleMusicCulture basically to stay in contact with customers, musicians and patrons that I developed relationships with at ear X-tacy,” he says.

In less than two years, Bailey’s LouisvilleMusicCulture has tallied over 7,000 Facebook “like,” and nearly 3,000 Twitter followers.

Bailey enjoys dimming the lights to “set the mood” of the historic Palace Theater

2011 is when the Louisville Palace sought out Bailey for a job.

After one failed app experiment, Sydney O’Bryan – Palace director of sales and marketing – put Bailey in charge of the Palace’s social media accounts in hopes of creating an online community around the historic music venue.

Through the Palace’s social media accounts, Bailey created “clouds of content,” which sparked high social-media engagement that sometimes “carries on week(s) after the show,” said Bailey.

Bailey’s role with the Palace and a part-time gig at Quest Outdoors pays the bills, but it is LouisvilleMusicCulture that is the potential gold mine for Bailey and the local music scene.

As of now, Bailey explained there is “no money coming in and no money going out” and that LouisvilleMusicCulture is his way of giving back to the music community that has given him so much over the years. He calls the work involved with the micro-blog a true “labor of love.”

LouisvilleMusicCulture highlights many of Louisville’s top events with an emphasis on local shows and aids bands in reaching new ears via Bailey’s social-media reach.

His dedication to local music has not gone unnoticed. Bands have nothing but admiration for the exposure Bailey brings to their music as well as the work he’s doing for the scene.

Edward Vincent of the Discount Guns had this to say about Bailey:

He’s the most sincere person in Louisville’s music scene.  Every person in every band in this town owes him a beer for the work he does.

John Ford, also of Discount Guns offered these words:

Sean Bailey is the epitome of everything good in the Louisville music scene.  On top of that, he’s one of the most genuinely nice people you could ever meet.

Shepard Vail, a local music fan who was at Underground Sounds on Record Store Day, said,”People in line were calling for a Sean Bailey Day, saying Sean Bailey should run for Mayor. I even heard people spreading a few Sean Bailey conspiracy theories.”

It’s not easy work for the uber-nice Bailey, who said LouisvilleMusicCulture can be a “bear at times.” Especially now Louisville’s music scene has evolved into a whole new beast since the legendary days of Louisville’s punk-hardcore days in the early 90’s.

“There used to be one big show a week on the weekend, with 700 people there. Now there’s two to three shows a night all across town with every genre represented,” Bailey said.

Bailey says that Louisville’s music  scene is healthy, even though there are only a “handful of local bands” who can pack a large house like Headliners Music Hall.

One thing Bailey says Louisville’s music scene needs: “Louisville is in dire need of a dedicated all-ages venue.”

Gov. Beshear made Sean Bailey a Kentucky Colonel on Monday.

As of now, Spinelli’s and Mellow Mushroom – two pizza joints – are the best all-ages show venues. There is a huge disconnect between bands reaching younger, and often more supportive, listeners in Louisville, and the city would benefit from having a “true music community,” as Bailey called it.

Bailey’s role will only continue to grow with the Louisville scene, but he is not sure what will come of LouisvilleMusicCulture. “People keep on asking me, when are you going to get a website, Sean?  And I really don’t know.  I’m taking it one step at a time.”

So he hasn’t felt the urge to dive into the website, app or blog world quite yet … but one thing that is clear, is that Sean Bailey will be involved in making things cool in this city for years to come.

If the Mayor wishes to give further props  to the area’s music scene – he just named April 25th “Houndmouth Day”– give a day to Sean Bailey; he’s one of the best things Louisville’s music scene has going for it.

If he does, Fischer would be following the example of Gov. Steve Beshear, who just commissioned Bailey as a Kentucky Colonel on Monday.

So, now, he’s “Col. Bailey” to you!

Michael Tierney
Michael Hannon Tierney is a writer for InsiderLouisville, various blogs, and does occasional freelance work. The world traveler, and magna cum laude graduate from the University of Kentucky holds degrees in History and Political Science. Tierney also writes, and performs original music time to time...