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Renee Hicks - sporting a hot pink Mohawk that stood at least eight inches high - came to Toledo yesterday ready to party.
The 24-year-old Detroit resident was among more than 1,500 people attending the 5th Annual Toledo Music Festival at Headliners, 4500 North Detroit Ave.
The venue was filled with teenagers with piercings, tattoos, and colored hair who danced to rock, emo rock, modern alternative rock, jam bands, punk, hip-hop, and gothic industrial metal.
Waite High School students, Nick Cioffe, 16, and Matt Cain, 17, had just emerged - sweaty and breathless - from the mosh pit in front of the main stage, when they said how exciting the show was.
“It's a great show and a lot of fun,” Nick Cioffe said.
The two teens were waiting anxiously for Lollipop Lust Kill and Amanna18 to go on.
The 12-hour showcase of local and regional music on four stages is a cultural event, said Jonathan Anderson, event coordinator at the Verso Group, which organized the festival.
“This is one of the biggest cultural events in Toledo,” Mr. Anderson said. “We put it together to showcase bands from the region.”
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The bands don't get paid for their 25-minute sets. Instead, the performers are hoping to catch the attention of invited record-company reps, he said.
Shane Allen, guitarist for Bradshawsproject, a melodic rock band, said the music festival is a great way to network with other bands and put on a “great show” for Toledo fans.
“The music here is constantly evolving, so it keeps getting better and better each year,” Mr. Allen said.
Wayne Todd, a 17-year-old student at Monroe High School, is the lead singer for Linus. He calls the band's music “Scremo.”
“I call it that because its emotion with scream,” he said.
Other bands that played were Sex-Twister, MuHa, Bliss66, After Alice, What's the Point, Drive, MonkeyNut, and Mad Charlie.
Brian Frey, lead singer for MuHa, which stands for minds under heavy attack, tossed CDs into the crowd in between songs.
“This is great exposure for the bands,” Mr. Frey said, “and we love the amount of people who come to this festival.”
In addition to the 56 bands that played at the festival, spectators watched BMX bikers do stunts and flying leaps over two indoor dirt mounds. Break-dancing hip-hoppers provided additional diversion.
During the performances, graffiti artists worked with spray paint on a 40-by-8-foot wall outside.
Jerry Hazard, whose tag is “Hazard,” said graffiti used to be about “shameless self-promotion,” but now it's more of an artistic expression.
“Most of us are artists who dabble in all forms of art,” Mr. Hazard said.