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Jacksonville Bands musically spar for chance to open for main stage event

Osprey Productions’ Ozzie’s Spring Ticket Music Festival April 12 will not only feature performances by bands such as The Ready Set, DJ Hesta Prynn and Boys Like Girls, but also one lucky band selected from Jacksonville’s own pool of local artists.

How is this band nominated to get such a reward? Well, by doing battle, of sorts.

For the fourth time, Osprey Productions collected eight of Jacksonville’s own musicians and brought them to UNF’s campus March 1 for a night of music and entertainment in the spring edition of Battle of the Bands.

Lesley Bailey, the playlist committee chair for OP and a UNF criminal justice senior, said Osprey Productions typically holds this event only during the fall semester, but this year, OP decided to give local artists the chance to perform in the both the fall and spring concerts.

“Since we decided to do a festival type event, instead of paying eight bands, we decided to have a Battle of the Bands and get another band exposure with seven different bands that are known and [perform] for a living,” Bailey said.

Attendees of this semester’s Battle of the Bands event said that this particular battle was one of the best.

Kelsey Rodgers, a UNF elementary education junior who has been to two of OP’s Battle of the Bands events, said that this time the lineup was superior to previous events and had a much more varied artist selection.

The bands selected for this year’s event were all Jacksonville-based artists: Northe, Seven Springs, The Dog Apollo, Jenni Reid, Speaking Cursive, Edenfield, Manna Zen and Alexis Rhode.

Joel Hirezi, lead vocalist for indie-rock band Northe and a UNF biology senior, said he and his band found out about the event because Northe’s brother bands, The Dog Apollo and Seven Springs, were performing in the battle.

Win or lose, the members of Northe said they were at the event for the experience and exposure it gives to local bands.

Lead guitarist Scion Watson said meeting both people and other bands at the event were the main reasons for entering, as well as getting the opportunity to share Northe’s music.

One of Northe’s brother bands, The Dog Apollo, a veteran of OP’s Battle of the Bands event, returned once again this year in hopes of winning the opportunity to open for the Ozzie’s Spring Ticket Music Festival, but also for the experience of playing in front of a crowd.

Though several of the bands, including Northe and The Dog Apollo, played excellent sets and attempted to sway the crowd in their favor, Seven Springs ultimately came out on top, winning the chance to play in this semester’s concert.

Raquel Cabrera, UNF international business junior and lead singer of Seven Springs, said this was the group’s third time entering the competition, and the members had high hopes for their success this time around.

“The chance to open for such great bands is huge for us,” Cabrera said. “Third time’s the charm, right?”

Email Zach Sweat at [email protected]

If you missed Seven Springs’ performance at last week’s Battle of the Bands, be sure to mark April 12 on your calendar for Ozzie’s Spring Ticket Music Festival where the Jacksonville band will be playing alongside seven well-known artists.

Photos by Sean Patterson, Spinnaker.

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