This year, a Music Creator Showcase will be held at the Underbelly in downtown Jacksonville during the April’s One Spark to promote the festival’s music creators.

The Music Creator Showcase stretches through all six days of One Spark and the awards are broken up into two $15,000 prize funds. The first fund is for crowd voters that pick their favorite band or act and a panel of jurors in the music industry that are yet to be determined awards the second fund.

The select music creators will have a chance to showcase their music in a 45-minute set in front of an audience.

Along with the 45-minute set, the creators will be given 20 minutes to pitch their reason for needing money. Most bands need new lights, sound equipment, or even money to record a new album.

For some artists, this could be their first time on stage in front of large crowds with professional sound and lighting.

“We are opening up the chocolate factory for bands in Northeast Florida,” said event coordinator Will Henley. “All musicians and bands need more money.”

Each creator will have its 45-minute showcase at Underbelly located on East Bay Street, which is on the border of the One Spark District. The 20-minute showcase will be held at the One Spark Music Stage at the Jacksonville Landing.

“Underbelly is the right size venue,” Henley said. “I’ve been to events there with 40 people and I’ve been to events that have 400 people and that’s the kind of atmosphere we are looking for.”

The showcase is perfect for bands that are not well known around Jacksonville as it will give them a chance to have their music heard.

“We rarely play for so many people,” said Philip Pan of Canary in the Coalmine. “Let alone people who may not have heard us before, so it’s great exposure.”

The showcase will also give the bands a chance to experience the organizational side of the business.

“A lot of bands know how to play music well, but they do not know the professional side of the business,” Henley said. “This gives them an opportunity to learn.”

“The most exciting part of this event is the opportunity for music creators to showcase their talent and the opportunity to move to the next level.”

One Jacksonville Beach native, Jordyn Stoddard is currently on a radio tour, is coming back to Jacksonville to play at One Spark.

“Underbelly is such an amazing supporter of live, local music in Jacksonville.” Said Stoddard. “I am not only excited to be a part of One Spark, but honored to be partnered with a venue as respected as Underbelly.”

Some of the bands that were featured as creators at One Spark last year have already moved on to that next level.

One of last year’s standouts, alternative folk duo Flagship Romance, has been chosen to perform at the One Spark Speaker Series that is set to feature innovative minds from across the United States. The duo also garnered numerous fans after their performances at the festival in 2014.

“For most bands, the next step is touring,” Henley said. “The showcase will give them a chance to see what their fans like and a chance to raise money to go out on the road.”

Here’s a list of bands playing in this year’s showcase:

Thursday:

4 p.m.: Shane Myers
5 p.m.: Christian Thue
6 p.m.: Jordyn Stoddard
7 p.m.: Jesse Montoya
8 p.m.: Hues of Blue
9 p.m.: After Midnight
10 p.m.: The Good Boys
11 p.m.: Stranger Wolf
Midnight: Firewater Tent Revival

Friday: 

4 p.m.: Brenna Erickson
5 p.m.: Connor Hickey
6 p.m.: Stand Up
7 p.m.: Kiwi Kiwi
8 p.m.: Civil Brute
9 p.m.: Flatland
10 p.m.: Wise River
11 p.m.: Fort Stories
Midnight: Sunspots

Saturday:

4 p.m.: Jordyn Stoddard
5 p.m.: Christian Thue
6 p.m.: Mere Woodard
7 p.m.: Stand Up
8 p.m.: Jesse Montoya
9 p.m.: Marathon Runner
10 p.m.: Firewater Tent Revival
11 p.m.: Conrad Oberg
Midnight: Herd of Watts

Find out more at http://events.jacksonville.com/event/one-spark-2015-creator-showcase-0

By: Sam Herb