Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Our five favorite tweets about Fierce Creatures’ Catacomb Party

Saturday night’s Catacomb Party, the Fulton Mall music festival put together by local band Fierce Creatures and promoter John Esquivel from Religious Appeal, proved to be fiercely successful.

The event served as the release party for Fierce Creatures’ new album, with nine other bands joining for a free, all-ages show in the heart of downtown Fresno. The crowd was big. People were raving all evening about it. It was, to put it simply, a big win for downtown and for the local music scene.

I’ll have some in-depth thoughts about the event to share later, but for now let’s celebrate the night in 140-character form.

BONUS: Here’s a cool video from YouTube user Charlie Kaijo.

Responses to "Our five favorite tweets about Fierce Creatures’ Catacomb Party"

Conlan says:

This was indeed a fun event. I saw a lot of people saying the city should make this happen more. But I think a lot of those people didn’t realize that this was almost entirely a private event. My understanding (which may be wrong) is that the driving “official” force behind it was the Downtown Fresno Partnership (, a non-government organization. For me, that speaks volumes. Rather than the city trying to manufacture good will for downtown artificially, this event was entirely created by passionate people who are real stakeholders (in one way or another) in downtown Fresno. Mad props, yo, to everyone involved (the bands, John Esquivel, the volunteers, the food trucks, Downtown Fresno Partnership, and everyone who showed up). The Catacomb Party, more than anything else in recent memory, gives me hope for the future of downtown.

Jeffresno says:

What Niilo said X 10.

Matt says:

^ Agreed.

What everyone put together PRIVATELY, does speak enormous volumes for the future of Fulton / DT. What was formed by just a few small organizations, dozens of volunteers and vendors, with careful planning over the past several months, has been the most significant thing I’ve seen since I’ve been living in Fresno for the past few decades; not only that, but this was done on a shoestring budget, hence the much-appreciated help from all who volunteered. However, yet with millions of dollars poured into and handled by our local governments to “revitalize Downtown,” I still have not seen anything from them that can hold a candle to what was the ‘Catacomb Party’ last night. To think that when it came down to it, a group of mid 20-something individuals (Johnny Esquivel and Fierce Creatures) orchestrated in a matter of months, what seasoned, longtime government, city politicians couldn’t do for decades. This really makes you put things into perspective.

Truly a defining moment and shining light for Fresno, and proof of the young, burgeoning creative scene and the key role they play as the future leaders of this city. If Catacomb Party wasn’t a shining example evidence of this, than I don’t really know what is.

JJJJ says:

I was impressed with the crowd. Im used to seeing 10 or so people at things like Fuse Fest, so having the place be somewhat packed was a surprise. The location was fantastic as well, and the three food trucks werent the only ones to make money, the three local restaurants were also doing brisk business.

Sad to see all the empty fountains though.

I don’t think the event was up to code in any shape or form (wiring, the beer garden etc) but I was happy to see there wasn’t a single police officer to perhaps shut it down. I think it shows how safe downtown Fresno can be that with an invisible security presence, there were no issues.

Conlan is right! This was an idea that Mathr and I were trying to shoot around for awhile, but we weren’t having much luck getting an event together that was outside of a traditional venue. Once we were introduced to Kate from DFP, things REALLY started to take shape. I were really surprised with what was possible thanks to them. I never thought having a free event on the Fulton Mall that was one giant beer garden was possible. They were also very open to having a bunch of really talented people with great ideas join our Catacomb team. Downtown Fresno Partnership is an organization that everyone should keep their eyes on.

Damian says:

Great to see! Last time I saw Fulton that packed was for the Cinco de Mayo festival, not too sure who puts that on though.

Johnny, I am very impressed by what you and a small group of people were able to do. I was there in the beginning of the party and it was already packed. Seeing people my age, older people and families reminded me of photos of the Mall when it first opened. It felt surreal.

More outdoor events should be put on at the Mall, I agree. This party is proof that they can be successful. However, I don’t think residents, nor the City, should solely depend on events to drive people to the Mall. As Johnny said, this event took months to plan. I’m surprised to see that alcohol was allowed outside of the restaurants. I wonder how long of a process one had to go to obtain the correct permits.

It doesn’t seem realistic to be investing a lot of time and money to regularly plan events with the sole purpose to bring people to a pedestrian mall that is economically declining.

Watched this event from afar out in St Louis, MO. It appeared to be a HUGE success and it makes me a proud ex-pat to see things fully of energy.

Maybe I am a homer and maybe I have too much man-love for Craig, his crew and the Mayor, but don’t cut them out of the love fest. The PBID is a key part of the revitalization effort and something like that exists in a number of successful communities. Private citizens and the Downtown Partnership should be the ones holding vibrant event…not the City or Fresno. The City did its part…they got out of the way of the “doers”. Think about it…who wants to go to a government party? Crickets…

The first year of the current administration talked a lot about creating ways for people to hold events downtown. The City wanted to provide guidance and structure. Cool. That is plenty.

I think this event is exactly what can and should happen more often. This is similar to what happened when Forest City finally ran away. Local people started going to work. John, you are a hell of a promoter and organizer. You did everything right. Gina and I are beaming with pride in STL.

Rock on, Fresno.

Abe Lopez says:

I had a great time on Saturday night. It was awesome seeing the Fulton Mall with so many people having a good time. For me it had the same feeling of the first FUSE, but with a ton more people.

Congrats to all who had a hand in putting this together!