Written By: Dustin Humbert
Whether or not you’re a music major, UNF is definitely an advantageous location for aspiring and networking musicians. The student-led organization, Osprey Productions, is always organizing music events around campus that range from rock concerts to open mic nights for students.
It is a common sight to see guitarists sitting and playing out on the green for everyone to hear. Guitarists often have short jam sessions in between classes just to blow off some steam. Osprey Productions hosts an open mic night once a month for anyone willing to perform. Whether you’re a musician, singer, expressive writer or rapper, students come out to see what you’ve got. Students actually have an opportunity to make money from their music on campus by playing acoustic sets at the Boathouse or Starbucks. The open mic night is a great way to get yourself noticed by Osprey Productions so they can set you up with some opportunities.
The UNF campus is a great place to network with musicians, but you are not limited just to the campus. The university is in a great location here in Jacksonville. The beach and the St. John’s Town center are both within 10 minutes of the campus. The St. John’s Town Center has lots of restaurants who hire solo performing artists to play on weekends, and they actually pay pretty well. The town center is also a great place to go with friends, walk around outside and get some fresh air, and just get away from the stress of school for a while.
The beaches are another great place for students, and especially musicians. The beaches come alive at night with music venues, dive bars, and a variety of restaurants. If you take a walk down the boardwalk at night, you can hear live music playing from almost every one of the restaurants around. The owners of these businesses offer a lot of different opportunities for musicians to play. I’ve personally played at several open mic nights at restaurants around the beach, and even played a couple acoustic sets at some of the local venues. Jack Rabbits, The Pit, Landshark Café, JamRock and Freebird Live are just a few of the venues around the Jacksonville Pier who offer opportunities for small-time musicians to play for a live audience.
Jacksonville is constantly growing and offering more and more choices of music equipment stores to its musicians. The music scene here in Jacksonville isn’t limited to any one location. Whether on campus, at the town center, the beach, or any of the local venues, there are opportunities for music all around you while you are at the University of North Florida. If you’re a musician, there are opportunities for you here in Jacksonville, and UNF is a great place to start. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open, and take advantage of the opportunities around you. UNF is in an amazing location, and opens doors not only inside its campus, but outside as well.