Organizers prepare for Grizzly Fest, hoping to make fan experience even better

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One year after promoters expanded Grizzly Fest to two days and moved it from downtown to Woodward Park, organizers are pushing the envelope once again to try and make the event even bigger in 2019.

That all starts with a renewed focus on the fan experience

"Our bar build is going up tenfold from last year from the companies that do Coachella, that do Outside Lines, that do Bottle Rock the same people that do those festivals are are now coming," said promoter Aren Hekimian.

With about a month to go before the May 4th and 5th event, promoters say they're pleased with ticket sales so far.

Bay Area rapper G-Eazy, along with Portugal The Man will headline the two-day festival.

"Major trend we're seeing is women are buying a larger percentage of tickets this year. We're up about 70% this year whereas last year we were in the high 50's at this time," said organizer Evan Nebeker.

As part of their agreement with the city, Grizzly Fest organizers will shut down the festival at 10 p.m. -- that's an hour and a half earlier than last year.

"We felt for the betterment of this brand and the betterment of this community I think its best if we stop it at 10 o'clock," Hekimian said. "We can start a little earlier and highlight a lot more of the food a lot more of the arts that are being brought out for the event."

A percentage of each ticket sales will go to the Cancer Center at Valley Children's Hospital.

But not everyone is thrilled to have the biggest music festival in Valley history in their own backyard.

City councilmember Garry Bredefeld would like to see Grizzly Fest and all the traffic and noise its brings to northeast Fresno to go back to Chukchansi Park.

"It's my hope this is the last one, and there won't be another one in River Park it will be downtown," Bredefeld said. "I think Grizzly Fest is a fantastic thing; it just doesn't belong at Woodward Park; it belongs downtown."

The promoters are working on a long term agreement with the city, but they want to keep Grizzly Fest at Woodward Park.
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