FresYes Fest shines a light on local music

Stoneshiver guitarist and lead singer Jesse Wilkin, salutes to the crowd at the 2017 FresYes Fest at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co on March 25, 2017. (Christian Ortuno/ The Collegian)

Thousands of people made their way to downtown Fresno on March 25 for Tioga-Sequoia’s annual FresYes Fest, a celebration of local beer, food and music.

The festival took place at the brewery’s beer garden with Fulton Street being blocked off between Inyo and Mono for food trucks and vendors.

FresYes Fest, a free, all-ages event, began at 1 p.m. and lasted until about 11 p.m.

Four specialty beers were on tap specifically for FresYes Fest as well as all of Tioga-Sequoia’s regular beers. Brewery officials said over 2,000 gallons were poured.

Over a dozen food trucks with food items ranging from pizza to tacos and ice cream lined the streets. The line for Jay’s Specialty Ice Cream became quite long once the sun decided to come out around midafternoon.

Stoneshiver, a four-piece hard rock band, was the first to take the stage at 1:15 p.m. It played a 40-minute set that showcased a mix of songs old and new.

Since Stoneshiver began playing just as the festival began, there wasn’t much of a crowd, but it still managed to provide quality entertainment to kick off a fun afternoon.

The BOX, described as a “new, old school” cover band, began playing at 2:30 p.m. and performed covers of ‘90s hip-hop, R&B, dance and pop songs for about an hour and a half.

It performed a cover of “No Diggity” by Blackstreet that many sang along to, and it even covered a song by Selena, which was my personal favorite.

I did have to take a break during The BOX because the set was so long, but I think overall, they brought a different vibe to the festival and gave attendees a chance to sing along to songs they were familiar with.  

At 4:30 p.m., was alternative-pop band Amoret who, while usually a three-piece, had a backing band just for FresYes Fest that included a small horns section.

Amoret played a 50-minute set that included original songs and covers, and it managed to draw a good-sized crowd that sang along and danced to every song.

Amoret’s music targeted a lot of the young adults present, myself included. But I think that the fact that when I looked to my right, I saw an elderly woman giving her all as she danced to the music, says a lot about the band. It makes music for everyone.  

The rest of the evening’s live music schedule included the John Clifton Blues Band playing at 6 p.m., indie rock duo Strange Vine at 7:45 and DJ Jess at 9 p.m.

FresYes Fest brought people from around the Valley to downtown Fresno and showcased some of the best that Fresno has to offer. It certainly has the potential to grow and continue for many years.  

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