Night Riot performs at Grizzly Fest in 2018 — the first year it was held at Woodward Park. Photo by Edward Smith

published on January 15, 2020 - 10:47 AM
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Fresno’s first major music festival announced it would take “a hibernation” for 2020 due to prolonged negotiations on a “longterm agreement” with the City of Fresno.

Grizzly Fest, which moved to Woodward Park in 2018, announced via Facebook that it would not hold its eponymous music and arts festival this year, but hoped to reappear in 2021.

Fresno’s Grizzly Fest drew upwards of 16,000 people in two days at Woodward Park.


The move to north Fresno from its original site at Chukchansi Park has not been without controversy. Members of the Fresno City Council at the time opposed the relocation citing noise concerns, though the post on Facebook did not specify why negotiations for a “longterm agreement” had stalled.

Calls to Aren Hekimian, CEO of the I.A.N. Group, which puts on Grizzly Fest, were not immediately returned. Nor were calls to Councilman Garry Bredefeld, who has expressed concerns about noise from the festival and whose district includes Woodward Park.

In previous years, Grizzly Fest has brought in tens of thousands of people for the two-day festival and drawn artists ranging from Snoop Dogg to Nas to Foster the People. The festival, which has hosted up to 16,000 people over two days, moved to Woodward Park after it had reached capacity at the baseball stadium in Downtown Fresno.

It began its run at Chukchansi Park in 2015.

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