There’s a bigger dose of female power on the bill for Modesto’s second Northern California Women’s Music Festival.
Advance tickets went on sale earlier this month for the two-day benefit event in October for Haven Women’s Center and an enrichment grant program.
Rockers Lita Ford and Tracy Bonham, along with comedian Cameron Esposito, headline this year’s festival at the State Theatre in downtown Modesto. In addition, former Tracy resident Megan Slankard, a Modesto Area Music Association Awards folk-acoustic winner, will perform.
Ford was lead guitarist with The Runaways before embarking on a solo career that brought her hits including “Kiss Me Deadly,” “Hungry” and “Close My Eyes Forever.” Bonham was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1997, including best female rock vocal performance for her hit “Mother Mother.” Esposito has appeared on “Conan” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”
Slankard, once a regular Modesto-area performer who’s now based in San Francisco, has a new album, “Running on Machinery,” due out May 19. She also has created “inDIYe,” a comedic talk and sketch webshow that provides a lighthearted “behind the scenes” look at what it’s really like to be an indie musician, says her website.
Other performers will include American folk, blues and jazz singer Barbara Dane; pop-punk bands The DollyRots and Go Betty Go; country group Calico; comedian Rhea Butcherm; slam poets Elizabeth Sousa and Joyce Lee; dancer Jodi LaDuca; Modesto Poet Laureate Gillian Wegner; and guest speaker Virginia Madueño, Assembly District 12 candidate and former Riverbank mayor.
According to a news release from festival founder Victoria Boyington, the goal of the event is to provide local women a platform to network and share common interests through business and the fine arts.
“This year, we will focus on encouraging positive connections through music, comedy, poetry and four workshops that will promote the health, well-being and advancement of women leaders in Northern California while encouraging and engaging the community,” according to the release.
The festival is set for Oct. 23-24 and will include an outdoor concert on J Street in front of the State Theatre, as well as an indoor concert and other events. Tickets are on sale for $20 per day ($10 outdoor concert only); $50 VIP; and $45 for a two-day pass.
For tickets and more information, see www.northerncaliforniawomensmusicfestival.com.