Feb 28, 2020

Downtown prepares for annual music festival

Photo courtesy of Nick Gennock Photography / 2010 F.U.S.E. Fest in Downtown Fresno

Photo courtesy of Nick Gennock Photography / 2010 F.U.S.E. Fest in Downtown Fresno

The Fresno Urban Sound Experience (F.U.S.E.) will kick off its annual festival this weekend, treating music lovers and concertgoers alike to the unique bands and performers of the Central Valley.

Eight years ago Jeff Tehee, the festival organizer, co-founded F.U.S.E. with the help of local non-profit Creative Fresno, to bring a more energetic vibe to the community.

“The festival, along with Sequoia Beer garden and Tokyo Garden, helps drive the vibrant culture of Downtown Fresno,” Tehee said. “It’s about trying to have it be reflective of businesses and culture within the city.”

Tehee also recalled the first year of the festival and was unsure if anyone would even show up.

“A big challenge in setting up is convincing people why they should go,” Tehee said.

“I just remember it starting with the first bands and wondering if anyone would even come.

“One of the organizers came to me and said it was packed, that’s when I saw people up and down the Fulton Mall.”

As the festival continues to entertain locals, Tehee hopes the growth of Downtown will translate to bigger audiences and venues.

F.U.S.E. looks to unite a community of music lovers for one night that represents what the city has to offer.

“You see examples of these kinds of festivals like SXSW and Noise Pop doing well; if Downtown were to grow then that’d be a great opportunity for bigger venues and audiences,” Tehee said. “It’s cool to go into any venue Downtown and just see a band.”

The festival begins today at 8 p.m. and concludes late Saturday night. For more information on the festival’s line-up, venues and pricing visit www.fusefest.com.

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