A staple in Downtown since 1982, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival draws thousands of people each May for one of the core’s largest annual events. Now, in its second year, the newest component to the three-day celebration is Jazz Fest After Dark, a free event designed to introduce festival goers to Downtown’s year-round nightlife and live music scene.
Before Jazz Fest After Dark, many bars didn’t see a boost during the festival weekend. Now, with the new late-night festival fixture, the bars not only saw new faces, but reported a big increase in sales.
“We added more venues and more acts, and overall attendance numbers more then doubled.” said event creator and organizer, Jason Lewis. “Our goal is to keep increasing the visibility and stature of Jazz Fest After Dark, each and every year. We feel we accomplished that and more in year two.”
This year, five venues: 1904 Music Hall, Burro Bar, Dive Bar, Underbelly and The Volstead opened up the Jazz Fest experience to dozens of amazing local acts, and the Downtown Cigar Lounge and Karpeles Museum provided additional events throughout the weekend.
So how did it go? Here are the bars in are in their own words: