Billed as "the valley's biggest party," the 11th annual Xclamation Festival will bring the sounds of music to downtown Modesto on Saturday.
The event features more than 40 bands and DJs on eight stages, plus food and merchandise vendors, roller derby girls, freestyle motocross riders, Mardi Gras beads and lots of adult beverages.
About 15,000 people from throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley are expected to attend. Other than the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race, no other event brings as many people downtown.
"It seems to be the pinnacle summer event for Modesto for people over 21," said Joe Roberts, program director for KHOP 95.1 FM radio station, one of the sponsors. "Every year, it seems it grows more and more."
Never miss a local story.
He said his listeners are most excited about seeing the bands We the Kings, Cartel, Pepper, Baby Bash, Montell Jordan, Warren G. and the Expendables.
Richard Perry of The Hawk 104.1 FM, another sponsor, said his radio station's listeners are more hyped about the three classic rock acts on the lineup — The Tubes, Montrose and the Michael Schenker Group.
Other bands scheduled to appear include Far East Movement, J. Brazil, Mix Master Mike (from The Beastie Boys), Moonshine Bandits and Iration. The genres represented include hip-hop, rock and pop.
Date pushed back by fair
Usually held in July, this year's X-Fest was pushed back to August to avoid conflicting with the Stanislaus County Fair. Temperatures are expected to be unseasonably mild — in the upper 80s as opposed to the scorching triple digits seen in the past.
"It's going to be the best weather we've ever had for X-Fest, and that alone will spike attendance," Roberts said.
The event provides an influx of cash to local businesses. Festival founder Chris Ricci said attendees' economic impact amounts to at least $1 million each summer.
"The average person who comes to an event during the day spends about $50 in town, but people who stay in hotels spend an average of $125," Ricci said.
The restaurants and bars see it as positive, and office workers downtown aren't bothered because the festival takes place while they're gone and is cleaned up by the time they get back, Ricci said.
For now, the festival mainly draws people from Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties, but Ricci said he expects that to change.
"I think in the next five years, you'll see more from San Jose, the Bay Area and Sacramento," he said.
Bee arts writer Lisa Millegan Renner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2313.