Jalin Roze will play a free show on Saturday, Jan. 30. | Courtesy of Jalin Roze
Jalin Roze will play a free show on Saturday, Jan. 30. | Courtesy of Jalin Roze

Last year’s inaugural Do502 Free Week must have been a soaring success, because this year they’ve truly topped themselves. More than 30 musicians will play at 13 free shows over the course of four days, Jan. 27-30.

Once again, Headliners Music Hall, Mercury Ballroom, Zanzabar and The New Vintage have offered up their stages for the concerts, which will feature the likes of the Villebillies, Jalin Roze, Quiet Hollers, A Lion Named Roar, The Hot Wires, Cher Von and many more.

Jeffrey Smith | Photo by Anna Davey May
Jeffrey Smith | Photo by Anna Davey May

Do502’s managing partner Jeffrey Smith says Free Week gives the music-going public a chance to hear new artists and support the music scene at the same time.

“It feels like there’s a great opportunity to discover several new artists in a very short amount of time,” he tells Insider. “Events like Waterfront Wednesday or the Back Porch Sessions we produce with RYE, you may have a single artist you’re unfamiliar with. At Free Week, you have an incredible chance to dive into the deep end of what makes Louisville’s music community great by seeing three, five, 20 artists you’re unfamiliar with. It’s my hope the community embraces this as their own and that Do502 becomes much more of a voice of awareness rather than producing the event.”

It was a challenge organizing such a big event, Smith says, but most bands and artists he approached were happy to be a part of the effort. Also, he says, the bands will, indeed, be paid for their time.

“I personally made a promise to make sure every band is paid this year, and without sponsorship, that money will be coming directly from Do502,” says Smith. “So we look at this as our way to support the music community while operating at a sizable loss.”

FreeWeekWith so much talent involved, it’s possible to hear just about every genre of music throughout the four days of free shows. Smith encourages people to try something new.

“I’d love to challenge the Insider Louisville readership to experience something outside of their typical norm,” he says. “Take a chance on a lineup you know nothing about. Visit a club you’ve never been to before. Grab a friend and their friends and come hang without expectations. Breathe in a part of Louisville that make you nervous. It’s time.”

Free Week culminates with a big bash at Headliners on Saturday, Jan. 30, featuring Roze and guests. For a full schedule, click here.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."