Big Crowds, Happy Businesses Expected for Modesto’s X Fest

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Ticket sales are running ahead of schedule for the 15th annual X Fest in downtown Modesto.

Up to 20,000 music fans are expected to watch 120 bands that have been booked. They range from hip hop to reggae, country, classic rock and pop bands.

Hispanic performers will also be in the mix. Local promoter Chris Ricci says the first festival featured alternative rock bands which are no out of vogue. He says the festival has to constantly adjust to the audience and to the demographics.

“Every year, we've become a little more Hispanic and so when you start targeting those people who live here you just do better,” Ricci said.

The Visitors and Convention Bureau says downtown businesses love the festival. Many prepare special menus or remain open later for the evenings entertainment on dozens of stages. Hotel bookings go way up for the festival.

”We get calls about a month in advance from all over California on who’s at X Fest, who are the bands, that kind of thing, so it really has a reputation," Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Mullen said.

Organizers are urging event attendees are being asked to arrive early. The doors open at 5 p.m. on Saturday but security will be heavy.

Fifty-seven Modesto police officers will join 200 security personnel, all paid for by the promoter, will check I.D.'s for the 21-and-up event. No gang attire, weapons, drugs or alcohol will be allowed.

"We take security very seriously. You could wait in line an hour or an hour and a half. We just want to keep this event safe," Ricci said.

Modesto Police says there is the normal number of issues surrounding a large concert event, but said it's nothing that they can't handle and that things have gone smoothly in the past.

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