It’s hard to believe that just three years ago, One Spark was one of the biggest events in the country, drawing a crowd of over 300,000 people.
The local crowdfunding festival has fallen on hard times since then. After cutting back from a full week to two days in 2016, the festival was scrapped entirely last year due to concerns over Hurricane Irma’s impact. And its financial situation had been bleak from the very beginning, with financier Peter Rummell having lost millions of his own money keeping the festival alive before cutting off his funding in 2016.
And a pair of high-profile lawsuits involving One Spark participants and Jaguars owner Shad Khan haven’t helped things, either.
But now, this weekend, One Spark will give it another try after two years of absence.
The festivities, which will be hosted by Daily’s Place, will kick off Thursday night with a free preview of what’s to come.
Then on Friday and Saturday afternoon from 12 to 8, they’ll present “The World’s Largest Idea Fest” inside Daily’s Place, with four different zones including the main stage.
Creator Spark Zones will be where the festival’s creators show off their ideas and innovations. In the Experiential Zone, festival-goers will get to explore JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator concept, learn about innovative electricity solutions from JEA, enjoy a Seagram’s 7 tasting, and check out Tesla’s Model X and Model S vehicles. The Family Zone will feature food trucks, a community mural project, and other family-friendly activities.
And the Main Stage will feature presentations by TEDxJacksonville, Red Bull, and SkillShare Videos.
One Spark After Dark will also be making a comeback, with live entertainment featured from 6 to 11. On Friday, acts include DJ NICKFRESH, LPT, and Stank Sauce; on Saturday, the lineup will be DJ Japancakes, The Katz Downstairs, and Patrick & The Swayzees.
This time around, the expectations feel significantly lower. The hype ahead of the event is almost nonexistent in comparison to what it used to be. But this may work in the festival’s advantage, though, as it tries to rebuild itself after a dramatic fall from grace.
It remains to be seen if the community will quickly re-embrace the once-mighty creators’ festival. But we’re happy to see it making an attempt at a comeback – even if this may be its last chance at one.
What do you think? Can One Spark make a comeback? Will you be attending? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below or on social media!