With the closure of Freebird Live, there’s been somewhat of a lull in the Jacksonville Beach music scene. But thanks to the ingenuity of a local musician, this gap will soon be filled.
Niko Costas, who you probably know from his band Sidereal, is launching a new concert series at the Beaches dubbed “RTEAM Summer Concert Series,” with the hopes of catering to many of the same bands Freebird used to bring in.
“The RTEAM Concert Series is coming to Jacksonville Beach as a new way to attract nationally touring artists that are too big to play inside of Lynch’s, but not at the level to be headlining the amphitheater or Jacksonville’s larger venues,” Niko said.
In order to fully explain what you can expect from this new venture, we asked Niko to fill us in on the details.
Do you plan to continue doing them after the summer? Will there be one for each season?
The summer is only the beginning! We plan on bringing a series with a unique feel to each season showcasing various genres of music. This summer, we are kicking things off with the beach friendly reggae/rock sounds and plan on bringing your favorite funk, jam and rock bands in upcoming seasons.
With Freebird gone, why do you think it’s important for someone to take up the torch and continue bringing live music to the area?
Freebird was a staple in the Jacksonville Beach music community for the last 15 years that catered to some of the most prominent touring acts. Since it closed, we have seen a lot of the shows that used to stop through our Beaches community moving to various venues around town or just skipping Jacksonville all together. As we have seen, people have a love for live music here, and we need a way to continue to connect our community with their favorite original touring bands.
Can you tell us a little more about what/who/where we can expect to see with this new series?
The RTEAM Summer Concert Series will take place Saturday, May 28, June 25 and August 6 behind Lynch’s Irish Pub in the area we have deemed the “backyard.” If you have ever attended a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the pub, you are familiar with the area. We will have Passafire headlining the first installment, Sidereal the second, and The Hip Abduction for the third. Each concert will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. featuring two to three local or regional bands, as well as the headliner. With a limited capacity, tickets are available for $15 per concert or $30 for all three. Hard tickets can be purchased during the day at Lynch’s Irish Pub or online at rteamconcertseries.com.
What do you hope the concert series will bring to the Beaches? What is the ultimate goal?
We hope to develop the concert series into a sought-after stop for national touring acts. We would love to have Jacksonville Beach be one of the most enjoyable stops for a band on tour with our beautiful beaches, great food and energetic crowds. We want to showcase our home to artists coming from far and wide.
What are the plans for future seasons and series? Any details you can give us?
I can’t release too many details yet, but expect a fall series with some of your favorite funk and jam bands.
As a local musician yourself, will there be local musicians alongside the national acts, and do you think it’s important to allow our local scene to participate in these types of concerts?
Definitely! A music scene cannot thrive in an area without the support of local musicians. Every band starts local, so it only makes sense to support those around you.
Updated on Friday, May 28:
So, what’s happening with the concert? What changes should people know about?
With some unexpected last minute road blocks, we are moving the first installment of the concert series to the inside of Lynch’s. They have been more than accommodating to work with us through these challenges to ensure we can still put on a killer show. This will bring the capacity down, but make for one of the most intimate and exciting Passafire concerts the Beaches has ever seen. This will not effect anyone who has already purchased a ticket or was planning on attending. Now you will get to enjoy the concert in the comfort of the A/C with a up close and personal view of the stage. Our friends at AVL Productions will still be setting up an unreal production. Something the inside of Lynch’s has never seen before!
Why the change? What’s happening behind the scenes that people don’t know?
When putting together any event there are a lot of hoops you have to jump through to make it happen. Unfortunately, we have hit some last-minute road blocks with the city of Jacksonville Beach pertaining to the event being outdoors. We could move forward with things as planned, but did not want to risk the quality of the attendees’ experience, so we decided to move things inside.
Would you say the city is being supportive of this new effort? Why is this important?
When producing our events, we have had great support from some people within city government. We believe those people are trying to push Jacksonville Beach to become a more progressive and active community. With their work we have seen some great events pop up at the Seawalk Pavilion and around the area. With the RTEAM Concert Series we aim to promote a quality experience for the attendees, performers, vendors and the countless individuals involved in organizing the event. We believe this goes beyond our local community and helps promote Jacksonville Beach on a national scale. Bringing in notable national acts helps put our city on the map as a destination for not only the arts, but for our beautiful beaches, unique dining experiences and locally owned shops. Our long term goal is to help bring attention to the city we love and continue to promote commerce and unforgettable experiences. Without the complete support from our local government, this may never happen.