One of Us

Niko Costas


Niko Costas grew up in St. Johns County and he has always loved music, including being in a band. That passion led him to starting Real Time Entertainment & Management, which focuses on creating musical hospitality for both the corporate world and for the public through festivals and other entertainment options with the goal of tapping into the unique culture on the First Coast.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I wasn’t born in St. Johns County, but my family moved here in Fruit Cove when I was in first grade, and I ended up going to UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

I always played music and was part of a band growing up. We even toured around the East Coast and West Coast a couple of times over the years.

I started RTEAM (Real Time Entertainment & Managment) as a way to raise money as an avenue for our band, which was named “Sidereal.”

In my early college days I was able to learn the ropes of the music entertainment business and I knew it was always something I wanted to pursue.

It’s funny to look back and see how you got to where you’re at and what that path looks like.

I came back after college and had background and knew what it took to put on a show and a live event, and quickly realized that was my niche and that I was meant for this.

I worked for Sundance Film Festival in Utah for a while, but I always had the end goal to make RTEAM my primary focus.

What are some of the goals and mission of RTEAM?

RTEAM at its core in its modern form wants to help connect bands with the local residents and its culture through live entertainment options.

We help create thos entertainment options for both the corporate world, as well as, festivals going on around the area.

We’re helping with the city to help do our part to put Jacksonville on the map even more. We want to get looked at the way that musical hubs like L.A. and New York are, which will take some time but it just takes one act a time.

We’ve been chipping away at it and all that hard work is starting to pay off and Jacksonville is finally starting to receive the respect it deserves.

We try to frame everything we do and all our events in a positive manner because it allows us to then use our creativity as a way to uplift people through music.

Even music we are not necessarily fans of personally, we get to know what people appreciate about it and look to really tap into that.

We listen to a lot of different realms of music around the office, so that we stay up with all that is out there. So, we’re very well-versed in most genres, and we don’t limit ourselves.

What are the most rewarding parts about your job?

I love to buy and precure talent because you know you’re helping local acts get discovered.

We operate Florida Fin Fest, which is a music festival in Jacksonville Beach held at Seawalk Pavilion that helps tap into the local vibe.

We look for unique sets that people will appreciate and enjoy. We’re all about bringing the community together through music and putting smiles on people’s faces.

What are some of the challenges faced?

We see the challenges just with the entertainment business as a whole, especially with balancing what artists want and what clients want.

We’re basically always trying to re-invent the wheel with just about everything we do and come up with.

What are your plans for the future of RTEAM?

We’ve got cool plans in place and we’re just continuing to build upon our festival portfolio, along with our venue portfolio here in North Florida.

Also, we’re looking to start building partnerships with some more Fortune 500 companies.

It all comes back to wanting to make North Florida a destination spot for culture and music.

From an event perspective, we’re also focused on downtown Jacksonville and the potential there.

What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?

I’ve always loved to surf, and you’ve got to love the yearround weather here.

My wife and I had twin boys five months ago, so my life has really been focused on being a dad lately.