MODESTO -- Overcast skies, balmy temperatures in the low 80s and a few raindrops kicked off the 13th annual X-Fest in downtown Modesto on Saturday.
I hope it dont rain, said Kyle Shankles, 22, of Modesto, as he took a smoke break with a friend. I dont mind a little thunder but I hope it dont pour down rain.
Shankles wasnt sure which of the stages he would visit first. The music festival featured 60 bands on 12 stages, including rock, rap, reggae, rockabilly, metal and Latin.
Headliners included former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, Grammy-nominated rapper Paul Wall, reggae group Iration, local favorite Moonshine Bandits and Santa Cruzs Dancetronauts DJ crew, who perform on a handcrafted spaceship.
A big crowd gathered around AC/DC tribute band Riff/Raff about 7:30 p.m. One performer was dressed in schoolboy short pants like Angus Young.
The festival also included a roller derby, a foam dance party, bare-chested men in striped pants who wrestled on a mat and young women in bikinis who wrestled in mud. Many people at the festival seemed to be there more for the experience and people watching than the music.
Im not even sure whos playing, said Tamara Holland, 38, of Modesto, who came to support a friend that was working at the festival. After she found a giant poster that listed the entertainers, she was excited to see Moonshine Bandits on the lineup.
Every time we go and see them, theyre fun, she said.
Several other people didnt know who was performing or were misinformed about the lineup. Shankles said he was there for motocross, which wasnt a part of this years festival.
Monique Durand, 24, of Merced, came for rapper Twista, who had canceled a few days earlier because of a death in the family and was replaced by Baby Bash. She said she likes coming to the festival anyway because it gives her a chance to dress up.
The festival included food booths, vendors selling T-shirts and hats, and a kissing booth.
As many as 20,000 people were expected to attend; promoter Chris Ricci could not be immediately reached for an attendance count.
It wasnt all young people who showed up. There were more than a few people there with gray hair. Ricci said the festivals core demographic is age 25-35.
Forty-year-old Chris Elliott drove all the way from Redding to see a friend in the Dancetronauts.
The group was formed at Burning Man, the alternative art and music festival in Nevadas Black Rock Desert. Elliott had seen the Dancetronauts and Dancetrohotties perform in San Francisco and thought they put on a good show.
I thought I may as well do something instead of sit in front of the computer, he said.
Adriana Flores, 30, came from Hayward for the third year to X-Fest for the spectacle of it all. Its a lot of fun, she said. You get to meet new people.
Amanda Tracy, 25, of Waterford, waited patiently for the rockabilly stage to start, which was delayed because of technical difficulties. She was there to see those bands and a couple of reggae groups. I just like the music, she said.
Bee arts writer Lisa Millegan Renner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2313.
Video: Adriana Flores tells Lisa Millegan-Renner why she's at X-Fest
Turlocker talks X-Fest