Fresno City Councilman Gary Bredefeld seems to have lightened up – at least on Twitter – on the plan to hold a two-day music festival at Woodward Park.
After days of argument and condemnation of Grizzly Fest for the promoters’ decision to move it from downtown’s Chukchansi Park to the northeast Fresno park, Bredefeld tweeted Thursday his hopes for a “safe and very successful music festival.” He also thanked the council for a two-week delay on voting on the festival that allowed for negotiations with promoters.
The council will vote on an updated agreement Feb. 8.
On Tuesday, city administrators met with Aren Hekimian of IAN Group LLC and came up with a compromise on the license agreement that would help mitigate the concerns of residents who live near the park. The points include financial penalties for any amplified sound after 11:30 p.m. – $1,000 for each minute in the first 10 minutes, $10,000 per minute until midnight, and then $100,000 for each minute after midnight.
The original agreement asked for an exemption until midnight, though the headliners are scheduled to play 90 minute sets starting at 10 p.m. each night. Staging will be set up in a manner that directs sound toward the festival-goers, toward nearly Highway 41 and away from the neighborhoods.
Measures also will be in place to keep traffic out of the surrounding neighborhoods. Festival-goers will be brought in and out of the park by bus and urged to use ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.
The promoters “clearly have taken the residents’ concerns very seriously,” Bredefeld said in a phone interview Thursday.
But that won’t change his vote next week. Bredefeld said he still doesn’t believe the park is an appropriate venue for the festival and said the agreement – worth $100,000 for the city – sets bad policy and precedent moving forward. He plans to vote against approving the agreement.
Meanwhile, Fresno officials are is looking forward to the vote and are “satisfied that the promoters have a solid plan to handle security and cleanup, as well as keeping festival-goers from parking in the neighborhoods adjacent to Woodward Park,” city spokesman Mark Standriff said.