Barely two months after it looked like the last of the One Spark innovation festivals had been held in Jacksonville, organizersof the entrepreneurial event announced Monday a revamped version will return in the fall.
“Innovation Festival” for One Spark will move from its traditional location in the center of downtown surrounding HemmingPark to EverBank Field and the timing of the event will switch from April to October.
A cadre of One Spark officials and city leaders gathered at EverBank Field on Monday and detailed plans for the event thatwill run from Oct. 5 through Oct. 7. the newly opened Daily’s Place amphitheater connected to the stadium will host a musicevent Oct. 5 and then “creators” who are entrepreneurs will set booths for display within a concourse of the stadium on Oct.6 and 7.
Peter Rummell, chairman of the One Spark board of directors, said holding a street fest in downtown Jacksonville as theevent did since the inaugural year of 2013 was simply financially untenable.
The event’s relocation to the stadium is a collaboration with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ entertainment wing known as BoldEvents which will be producing the One Spark happenings. Jaguars President Mark Lamping told the Times-Union in aninterview in April that he wanted Bold Events to increase activity at the stadium and make it a hub of increased commercialaction.
The first four years of One Spark cost the organization over $6 million with budget shortfalls causing Rummell himself topick up over half of those costs. The local developer and businessman has said repeatedly he would no longer pick up thosecosts. He said advertising and sponsorship efforts are underway to help pay for the event this year and he’s hoping to breakeven.
The cost of setting up Wi-Fi service alone in the center of downtown was “embarrassing,” Rummell said. That service formobile devices is already in place at the stadium grounds.
Also helping to offset costs is that the event will no longer be free. The audience wishing to attend the event will be charged$5 in advance and $10 the day of the event.
Rummell stressed the focus of the event will be showcasing the entrepreneurial community in Jacksonville and up to 150creators, or entrepreneurs, will be allowed to participate in the showcase. Registration for creators begins in July.
Monday’s announcement comes as many in the community were disappointed when this spring’s event usually held in Aprilwas scrapped due to organizational and funding issues.
Rummell and other One Spark officials had said they would resurrect the event and Rummell said the event moving from anarea of downtown that spanned dozens of city blocks to a stadium setting simply makes it more manageable.