•The Catacomb Party attendance quadrupled in two years
•The festival draws touring musicians from SXSW and similar events
The Catacomb Party was intended as a humble little release show. It’s become the example of hip, downtown events; the kind that can define a city, or at least a neighborhood — in this case, the Fulton Mall.
The free, all-day festival drew 1,000 people its first year.
After that, attendance quadrupled. Year two saw a crowd of 4,000 or more, despite the July heat.
Catacomb Party returns to the mall noon Saturday, April 4, with more than 60 bands, performers and DJs slated to play on nine stages in and around the mall. Two main stages are situated at Mariposa Plaza (look for the clock tower) with additional stages at Peeve’s Public House and the Tioga-Sequoia beer garden and a free after-show at Strummer’s in the Tower District.
The lineup is heavy with the acts that play large music festivals around the country like SXSW. That includes headliners Dan Deacon and How to Dress Well, as well as second-tier performers like the critically acclaimed punk band Joyce Manor, San Francisco rock band The Stone Foxes, Chilean songstress Maria Del Pilar and rapper K.Flay.
While the festival skewed away from local headliners this year, there are dozens of Fresno bands on the bill including Zee Will, Light Thieves, Brother Luke and the Comrades, Kooleidoscope and Macondo.
Along with the music, nine food trucks including Dusty Buns and Zamore will be on hand from noon to 9 p.m. for what is being dubbed Food Fest.
According to organizers, the party will be “free, loud, all ages and inclusive.”
There are VIP tickets available on the Catacomb Party website, along with a map and full-schedule of bands.