OAKDALE -- Cowboy hats and boots were in abundance at Friday's opening of the two-day Sierra View Music Fest at JH Ranch.
The 4-year-old festival, set on rolling hills, kicked off with a country day featuring Gloriana, Edens Edge and Walker Hayes.
"It's a good vibe," said 16-year-old Tony Martinez, who came to hear Gloriana, best known for "(Kissed You) Good Night," its current hit radio single. "It's nice. It's a good view."
Only about 500 people showed up to the festival's first try at offering country organizer Jim Brunk blamed the low turnout on competition from high school football games but some 2,000 were expected to attend today's rock night. Performers are classic-rock favorites Night Ranger ("Sister Christian"), Winger ("Seventeen") and Great White ("Once Bitten, Twice Shy") as well as Pat Travers, Scarlett Machine, Scattered and Remedy. The festival always has offered rock.
Sierra View is held in remembrance of Brunk's wife, Heidi, who died at age 45 in 2008 in a backyard water-slide accident at the ranch. She sang in Remedy and other bands in the region.
The concerts benefit the Heidi Brunk Foundation, which provides music scholarships to college students. So far, the foundation has awarded 10 scholarships of $1,000 each to students in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.
Performer Hayes said he was glad to help out. "I love the cause, I love the yard and I love Jim," he said after his set.
Hayes, a 32-year-old Alabama native, had a crowd of girls and women dancing in front of the stage when he sang his hit, "Pants." The chorus goes, "She can wear the pants
long as I can take 'em off her."
"I liked him," said Irma Oliva, 56, of Riverbank. "He's got a lot of sex appeal."
Like Martinez, Oliva came to the festival because of Gloriana. She brought a poster of the group and hoped to get an autograph from a member of the trio. "I've just come to know country music because of my boyfriend," she said.
The festival included booths selling T-shirts and souvenirs, as well as food and drink. Most folks sat on blankets on the hillside. People who paid extra sat at VIP tables at the top of the hill.
Sara Lutzinger, 29, who recently moved to Oakdale from Manteca, said she and her companion came because they got free tickets.
"We just like country music in general," she said, adding that the venue was great. "It's beautiful, it's awesome."
Bee arts writer Lisa Millegan Renner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2313.
If You Go ...
WHAT: Sierra View Music Fest. Today's show is all about rock. Bands are Night Ranger, Winger, Great White, Scarlet Machine, Remedy, Scattered, Pat Travers
WHEN: 1 p.m. to midnight today
WHERE: JH Ranch, 12713 Sierra View Road, Oakdale
TICKETS: $45 at the gate; benefits music scholarships for the Heidi Brunk Foundation
INFO: (209) 247-6069 or www.sierraviewmusicfest.com