No slowdown for late-night X-Fest

The weather was hot, but the bands were hotter at this year's Xclamation Festival. Music lovers braved 103-degree heat to attend the 10th annual music festival Saturday in downtown Modesto. Those who stuck around for the entire seven-hour event got a reward: the temperature dropped to 90 degrees by 10 p.m.

The city's official head count wasn't available Sunday, but X-Fest creator and promoter Chris Ricci estimated about 16,000 people.

"There were very few problems," Ricci said. "The crowd was really well-behaved and we coordinated really well with the Police Department and the Fire Department."

Police reported no major problems. Officers ejected 31 people and arrested 25, Lt. Ron Cloward said, 10 on suspicion of public intoxication and eight for suspected fighting. Other offenses were assaulting an officer from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, assaulting police horses and trespassing, he said.

"We've had three really good years now and that tells us that what the promoter is doing, what we're doing and what security is doing is working," Cloward said.

Crowd favorites at this year's X-Fest included rapper Baby Bash, Moonshine Bandits and Orange County band Lit, Ricci said.

Another hit with fans: the X-Fest iPhone app that gave users up-to-date schedule information and maps. About 2,000 people downloaded the free application to their phones, Ricci said.

The festival showed signs of extending its reach. A record number of tickets were sold at Stockton outlets this year, Ricci said.

"It shows that Modesto is still looked at as an important entertainment destination," he said. "It's just good to know that Modesto can still compete."

The Beyer High School Band Boosters and about six street sweepers took care of cleanup. "We like to say that the cleanest day in downtown Modesto is the day after X-Fest," he said.

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at or 578-2378.

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