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Xfest: 16 years and still rocking downtown Modesto

Fourteen blocks of downtown Modesto will be filled with thousands of people on Aug. 22 when Chris Ricci Presents hosts the Xclamation Festival, which party goers call the Xfest. Several years ago Ricci and his former partner decided to throw a big music festival to help Modesto celebrate the new downtown revitalization in 2000.

With the name Xclamation Festival they were sure that this would be the biggest party in the Valley and get people excited about the celebration.

“We called it Xclamation because it is exciting and we were excited about these changes in Modesto,” said Ricci. “We wanted to celebrate that with something exciting and that was the inspiration in naming it the Xclamation Festival.”

The first year there were approximately 7,500 people who attended the event and it has grown ever since with attendance ranging from 10,000 to 17,000 music fans each year.

“I think the strength of the Xfest is its ability to evolve with the changing demographics in the Valley,” said Ricci. “The great thing about Xfest is that it is not stuck on one musical genre.”

The event is outdoors and will host over 100 bands from different genres including electronic dance music, a hip hop DJ, classic rock, alternative rock, a rapper and a Christian band on 14 different stages spread throughout 14 blocks for the ultimate downtown party.

“The variety of music is really astounding,” added Ricci. “So there is just a lot of variety and a lot of different kinds of people; it is a very mixed crowd.

“It is absolutely spectacular.”

Some of the artists that will be performing at this year’s event are Tech N9ne, Tribal Seeds, Moonshine Bandits, Andre Nickatina, Dancetronauts, Fortunate Youth, Chingo Bling and Los Rakas.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and the shows end at 1 a.m. for guests 21 and over. There are four entrances and parking options all around downtown. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the gate for general admission or $40 for the express entrance.

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