With big-name headliners and 15 years of history, many first-timers came out Saturday to experience X-Fest for themselves.
The outdoor music festival in downtown Modesto packed in thousands of fans who came from across the region to see Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, E-40, Snow Tha Product and more. Music fans, and fans of having a good time, came together to listen, dance, eat and drink across a 10-block area. Ticket sales were up significantly this year for a lineup that leaned heavily on hip-hop and electronic dance performers.
This year, 120 bands played on more than a dozen stages throughout the event. Two of the largest stages, at 10th and I and at 13th and J, featured dueling headliners throughout the night. Audiences had to choose between Manteca-raised electro-pop sensation Dev and East Bay hyphy pioneer E-40, or Los Banos success story the Moonshine Bandits and dance-pop duo 3OH!3.
Most spectators were xcited to see E-40 and 3OH!3, but also said the event is a nice showcase for the city and area bands. Local performers make up about 80 percent of the lineup and play multiple stages throughout the event.
Local acts such as Modesto rap trio Serious Bizness drew a large, enthusiastic crowd.
Security was tight throughout the event. More than 200 private security officers and some 60 Modesto police officers patrolled the grounds. Representatives from the California Highway Patrol, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department and Alcoholic Beverage Control also were on hand.
But the evening wasn’t just for the young and party-hearty. Modesto resident Deborah Baldwin, 58, came to her first X-Fest. She wanted to see E-40, but mostly to be part of the celebration.
“Everybody tells you what it’s like,” she said. “I was always curious what it was about. And, you know what, it’s exciting.”