After months of debate about where it should take place Grizzly Fest kicked-off Friday at Woodward Park in Northeast Fresno.
Many people took rides, so the traffic never got too bad and this venue is deep in the park, so the noise is pretty isolated. The crowd slowly grew throughout the evening. Grizzly Fest organizers believe there could be as many as nine thousand people who came on night one. .
Live Music in the middle of Woodward Park brought people to this two day music festival for the first time.
”We didn’t go when it was at Chukchansi Park. The last few years yeah, we never went,” said Celeste, who arrived Friday afternoon at Woodward Park.
Hosting Grizzly Fest at this spacious venue for the first time gave organizers some high expectations.
“We expect to have about nine thousand, said Grizzly Fest promoter Vartan Hekimian about the opening night. “Total footprints about 25 thousand over the two days.”
Keeping all these people safe falls on the shoulders of the Fresno Police Department, which made its presence known both inside and outside of the music festival.
“The reality is. This is much easier to police than the fairgrounds because of the volume of people. There are times we have 60 to 70 thousand people at the fairgrounds,”said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Outside of the venue on Fresno city streets Uber and Lyft drivers expect to be busy all weekend as people avoid the traffic, and drinking and driving.
“We’re going to be here all night, enjoy all the concerts. It’s our first time we want to enjoy everything,” said Danielle, a concert goer.
The gates at Grizzly Fest open for Day 2 on Saturday at 2pm.