Upcoming Grizzly Fest offers music, food, and change of venue


The band, Thee Commons performing at Grizzly Fest 2017

Alex Gonzales, Staff Writer

With warmer weather and spring right around the corner,  more outdoor events are coming up, like Grizzly Fest, one of Fresno’s most popular annual music festivals. After proving to draw large crowds for three years, the festival has been able to bring in increasingly well-known artists like Snoop Dogg, Jhene Aiko, Foster the People, Nas in its fourth year. The full line up for the festival can be viewed here. Grizzly Fest is also kicking off its first year as a two-day event to accommodate increasingly large turn-outs.  General admission will be $75 for one day and $130 for both days. VIP tickets will also be sold for $140 for one-day admissions and $200 for 2-day admissions. The festival will be held on May 18th and 19th. Tickets can be purchased online at the Grizzly Fest website.

The venue will also be hosting numerous food truck and retail vendors. Food trucks will be offering “reasonably priced” food (vegetarian and vegan options available) and drinks on-site. More information about food vendors will be released in upcoming weeks. Local retail vendors will be selling a variety of crafts, posters, t-shirts and more practical concert necessities like sunglasses and cellphone chargers. ATM’s will also be available on site.

This year Grizzly Fest will be held at Woodward Park instead of Chukchansi stadium. Although the change of venue seemed abrupt and some community members were upset over the event leaving downtown while others complained that the event would bring undesirable noise or crime to North-East Fresno, the Fresno City council voted to approve Grizzly Fest’s move to Woodward 5 – 2.

Organizers claim there is valid reasoning behind this decision. They said they needed a larger area to accommodate the event’s growth. Aren Hekimian, one of the festival promoters, added that the choice was also an operational decision. Since Grizzly Fest’s original date occurred during Fresno Grizzlies game season, it was difficult to return the stadium back to a state suitable for their baseball games. Finally, a security risk was cited as the stadium is surrounded by tall buildings making a mass shooting more viable than it would be in Woodward Park.

Along with the change in venue comes a new time restriction which specifies that the festival is not allowed to amplify music past 11:30 p.m. For each minute that the festival goes on past the set time, the organizers will be fined. After 11:30 p.m. the organizers will be charged $1,000 per minute until 11:40 p.m., $10,000 per minute from 11:40 p.m. to midnight, and $100,000 per minute after midnight. This may disappoint some fans who expect the show to run later and pose significant difficulties for organizers who must make sure music shuts down on time.