Those bemoaning Grizzly Fest’s move from downtown Fresno, should be heartened by the announcement of this year’s FresYes Fest lineup.
The annual beer, band and food-truck celebration happens March 24 at Tioga-Sequoia’s beer garden, and while there are still details to come on the (promised-to-be-expanded) festival, we now have the lineup of bands.
“Our goal in putting together the FresYes Fest music lineup every year is to honor pillars of the local music scene and give a diverse mix of sounds,” says Mike Osegueda, host of the New Rock 104.1’s “Ozmosis” radio show and one of the event’s organizers.
“As in years past, we get a strong cross-genre, locals only showcase. This is the sound of Fresno – old and new and right now. Hopefully with a few acts you don’t see too often.”
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Headlining the night is the soul/funk R&B band Gang’s Back. While the band may not have instant name recognition – this will be its first local performance in five years – Gang’s Back was a staple in the 1980s at places like the Rainbow Ballroom and Smuggler’s Inn. The band started in 1976, was signed to a subsidiary of Columbia Records in 1981 and had two singles – “Hot Fun” and “Got My Eye on You” – on the Billboard charts.
Also on the bill
Sparklejet – This ’90s college-rock power trio celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Often celebrated as the loudest band in Fresno, their 2006 album “Beyond the Beyond” was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini (who also did famous records for Nirvana and the Pixies).
White Glove Service – The reggae rock band is used to the festival vibe. In fact, they are playing day two of the One Love Cali Reggae Fest this weekend in Long Beach, alongside Rebelution, Iration, Pepper and dozens of others.
Glen Delpit – Arguably the longest-running band in Fresno. Delpit and his Subterraneans have played fairly consistently since 1987 when they were part of the scene at the Wild Blue Yonder. File under “bluesrootsy Americana.”
Sharks of Dance – “We usually pick an up-and-coming band that I think is really doing well, and this year that’s Sharks of Dance,” Oseugueda says. You may have seen the name on the Grizzly Fest lineup.
The Box – An “new, old school” cover band for fans of nostalgic ’90s hip-hop, R&B, dance and pop. They played an early slot at last year’s festival. This year, the band will close out the night. Expect a dance party.
FresYes Fest started in 2014 as a collaboration between Tioga-Sequoia, New Rock 104.1 and Osegueda (aka Mike Oz). The real estate site FresYes is also a sponsor now.
Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. has made tradition of releasing several specialty beers just for the festival, so expect an update on that soon.