Aug 05, 2020

Fuse Festival

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An event to revitalize downtown Fresno

More than 20 bands. One night. One goal.

Creative Fresno is hosting the first “Fresno Urban Sound Experience,” or “Fuse Festival,” Saturday at three different venues located in the heart of Fresno. Various bands will perform everything form rap to jazz.

The Smokehouse Restaurant and Bar, Café Corazon and Milano Italian restaurant will open their doors to the simultaneous sets.

“Café Corazon will have more of the singer-songwriters,” said Joshua Tehee, event organizer and Creative Fresno board member. “At Milano there will be more punk bands and Smokehouse will have more of the hip-hop bands. It will be a mix of everything.”

Attempt to stimulate revitalization

The event, which has taken more than a year to finalize, is an attempt by downtown business owners and workers to revive the heart of Fresno and help it become what it used to be.

“The idea has been around for a long time,” Tehee said. “Initially we wanted to block off Kearny Ave., but we figured that was more work than we can do, so we opted for this.”

In a central location, surrounded by several governmental departments, a casino, various business offices and local restaurants, the event will not have a hard time attracting people ,according to Philip Young, Smokehouse general manager.

Young believes the difficult part is getting people interested in nightlife of the “Fuse Festival.”

“There is a heartbeat downtown and the people are missing it,” Young said. “This is where Fresno started and we need to nurture and care for it. It’s like a city gone bad,” Young said.

“Everything started here, a lot of the big lawyers started their businesses here and have their offices here, but they chose to live in the north side,” Young said. “They think the north side is the best side, but it is safe here. Nothing can happen to you if there are no people,” Young said.

Money no object

Organizers hope that events like this will be the beginning of downtown revitalization.

“It is raising awareness of the existing businesses,” Café Corazon owner Leo Rios said. “We are not mass chains, we are a strong representation of what Fresno is about,” Rios said.

According to Rios, it is not about the money. “We just want to be part of the scene, we want to remember [the bands] were here when they where playing,” he said.

Aside from replacing the money used on posters and flyers to advertise the event, all proceeds will go directly to the bands playing for the event.

Returns for the bands, will all depend on how many people show up.

Fresno Urban Sound Experience

This event was organized in hopes of revitalizing downtown Fresno with people going to enjoy diverse music and food.

• Saturday, Oct. 18, doors open at 4 p.m. at Café Corazón, Milano Italian restaurant and Smokehouse Restaurant and Bar. $10 cover charge, which includes after party at Tokyo Gardens.

• Various types of bands ranging in genres from rap, jazz and punk, including Rademacher, Fashawn, Patrick Conteras, Flight 409, Blake Jones the Trike Shop and more.

• For more information, visit the Fuse Festival website.

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