The biggest street party of the summer returns Aug. 23 when the 15th annual X-Fest takes over downtown Modesto.
Tickets go on sale Monday for the event, which announced its featured multiband lineup Friday. New this year will be a $10 express pass that will allow patrons to walk right into the festival without having to wait in line for admission, said Modesto promoter Chris Ricci, who created the event and has led it since its inception.
Among the featured performers coming to this year’s outdoor concert featuring 15 stages of live music are Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, local products Dev (formerly of Manteca) and the Moonshine Bandits (from Los Banos), E-40, Berner, 3OH!3, Snow Tha Product and electronic crowd-pleasers Dancetronauts.
In addition to the featured performers there will be more than 100 other artists performing, as well as food, beverage and other vendors on site.
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Ricci said there will be a few minor tweaks to the event this year, but pretty much has an if-it-isn’t-broken-don’t-fix-it approach to the hugely successful event. He expects 15,000 to 20,000 concertgoers to flock to downtown again this year for the music and party atmosphere.
In addition to the express pass, the festival will move its border slightly to avoid streets around the Gallo Center for the Arts, move an entry off J Street for safety reasons and close admission gates at 11 p.m.
With 15 years of drawing huge crowds, X-Fest has enjoyed a particularly successful run. Ricci attributes that endurance to a few things: gearing the event specifically to people in the Valley, keeping the ticket price low, and staying up-to-date with the music and bands offered as preferences and popularity change.
“When we started, it was a rock ’n’ roll event,” Ricci said. Now, X-Fest features a range of genres, including hip-hop, electronic and pop.
“Evolving the music,” he said, “helps with the staying power.”
Advance tickets are $20; $30 at the door. Gates will open at 5 p.m.
For more on X-Fest, go to www.xfestmodesto.com.