Grizzly Fest being called a huge success

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- By late Monday morning, Woodward Park was beginning to look like its former self as dozens of crew members were busy with tear down and haul away.

But less than 48 hours prior the park hosted the largest music festival ever to hit the Central Valley

Close to 20,000 showed up over Friday and Saturday to rock out to the likes of Snoop Dogg and Foster the People at Grizzly Fest

Event promoter Vartan Hekimian is calling the event a huge success but isn't ready to say if the festival turned a profit or not, "We have to see where everything sits when the dust settles, and we don't really look at that in terms of after year one. We're looking at a long-term endeavor."

Hekimian says, given the potential Woodward Park offers, they say they plan to keep Grizzly Fest in Northeast Fresno for years to come.

The City of Fresno couldn't be happier.

The two-day music event added millions of dollars to the local economy and the police department reported zero arrests and minimal issues.

"As far as traffic, parking, incidents inside the park (there was) nothing, said City of Fresno Spokesman Mark Standriff. "For a first-time event at this location, given the magnitude of the acts that we had in, I thought it was a slam dunk win for everybody."

But not everyone at City Hall was completely thrilled with Grizzly Fest

Councilmember Garry Bredefeld, who represents the area around Woodward Park, said his office had received dozens of noise complaints since the festival wrapped on Saturday. That's even though organizers met an 11:30 pm curfew to cut off loud sound coming from the park.

"I want to give credit to a lot of people who did a lot of things right, and a lot of things they said they were going to do, they did," said Bredefeld. "The one thing they didn't follow through on was people wouldn't be adversely affected by noise, and they were all the way until 11:30 pm, and it was loud."

Fresno city leaders plan to meet with festival organizers in the coming days to discuss ways on how to improve the next Grizzly Fest.

"This is the city's event so we've got a list of artists and we've been in contact with some artists," said Hekimian. "One thing I can say for sure is, the artists want to come here now."

Promoters want to build on the success of Grizzly Fest and are in the early stages of planning a similar festival featuring all country music at Woodward Park.
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