Jason Hunnicutt - Owner of 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL on Running and Opening Your Own Venue

Jason Hunnicutt is the owner of 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL. The venue was founded in 20011 with the goal to bring live music to Downtown Jacksonville. The bar itself was first built in 1904, from which they got their name. 1904 Music Hall is a 300 capacity venue that books national touring artists in all genres. Prior to opening 1904 Music Hall, Jason was a touring musician himself, and has always been entrepreneurial spirited.

I first had the opportunity to work with Jason Hunnicutt in March of 2016, when I brought Bonerama from New Orleans, LA to Jacksonville. From the first day, working with Jason wasbreath of fresh air. Unfortunately it’s always a toss up when working with venue owners. You never know what you’re going to get. Some owners are open minded and easy to work with, and are open to outside promoters, some have absolutely no clue what they’re doing, others are extremely disorganized, you have your control freaks, and also some with bigger egos than the artists themselves. It’s really nice when you have the opportunity to work with a venue owner that’s open minded, easy to work with, and someone that has a really great attitude. I saw that from day one with Jason, and since we’ve worked together on New Kingston, The Steppin Stones, and Zach Deputy. And I’m sure there will be many more names to add to that list down the road.

Highlights from this Episode
What made Jason want to open the venue in Jacksonville (06:18)
How Jacksonville is branded (08:50)
The bands who inspired Jason (12:35)
Cool venues Jason experienced while touring (18:20)
What lit Jason’s entrepreneurial spark (20:40)
Risks involved in opening Venue 1904 (25:00)
How Jason and partners found their venue location (27:00)
The work put into remodeling 1904 (29:30)
Big surprises and learning experiences (35:37)
Aspiring venue owner advice. (37:39)
How Jason knew Venue 1904 was in a good place. (40:10)
Making it to Jason Hunnicutt (42:15)

Quotes from Jason Hunnicutt
“The band is your own business.”
“Once you get one going, the second one is easier.”
“Three is a good number for partners.”
“Keeping the consistency, it’s hard starting a business and the first few months are always the hardest. “
“Say ‘yes’, man!”
“Commit to it.”
“Say yes and be open, kind of to everything.”
“As much as you think your musical is taste great, and as much as you think you know what people want to hear and experience, it’s really up to community that is supporting you.”
“Seeing the positive reviews from the community and the bands too. I think when that started happening I was like ‘Cool!’ “

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Kevin Stone
Allman Brothers Band
Lynyrd Skynyrd

Places & Things
Florida Theatre
1904 Music Hall
One Spark Festival
The Elbow
Limp Bizkit
Pink Floyd
Led Zeppelin
Main Squeeze
The Imperial
Jack Rabbits
Suwanee Fest
The Engine Room
Urban Organics

Jason Hunnicutt’s Definition of Making It:
“The key to a business: Doing a hustle and then training someone to do that hustle; Being able to pay them to do that hustle and also being able to pay yourself. -Ian Ranne” – Jason Hunnicutt