A new event coming to downtown Jacksonville will connect local and international artists, all while giving the public even more reason to visit the city center.
A new event coming to downtown Jacksonville will connect local and international artists, all while giving the public even more reason to visit the city center. First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Connection Festival is the latest event to make downtown Jacksonville its home.
Organizers say the idea gained traction during One Spark 2014, an event focused on connecting local artists with regional, national and international artists.
"This will allow local artists to share a stage with international artists," said festival organizer Joseph Lezcano. "It's something kind of unheard of in the city of Jacksonville."
More than 80 bands, as well as street performers and visual and performing artists will showcase during the three day festival September 12-14.
The founders of the Connection Festival had the great idea, artists and venues in mind, but ultimately they needed to pay for everything.
That's where One Spark came into play for them.
Lezcano says One Spark introduced them to a fellow creator at the event, Scott Hooks, who was there displaying his social network Yubixi.
"One Spark provided the catalyst for this project and now we want to feed the cycle," Hooks said.
Hooks, who lives in Jacksonville Beach, was so impressed from his meeting with these guys at One Spark he decided to become the primary investor in the Connection Festival.
"For them the budget was $100,000," Hooks said. "I looked at it, did my due diligence, and thought it was a good use of $100,000."
The issue of paying for the event was solved.
"For Scott to jump in like that and just give that money to us and have faith in what we're doing, it means a lot," Lezcano said.
But this isn't simply an act of charity.
Hooks says festivals like this downtown attract so many visitors, he estimates he could potentially double his investment.
However, he says it's not about making money in the long run.
"It's way more than that," he said. "I have a belief in downtown. I look at the infrastructure here and all the potential that exists in downtown, we just need a way to connect people in the surrounding areas here."
And that's what he hopes this 'mini One Spark' will do over the course of three days downtown.