THE Rock in the Vines music festival exceeded expectations Sunday night and proved that Bendigo residents have a healthy appetite for underground rock music.
Event organiser Steve Saxton said pre-ticket sales had been slow but there was a surge of interest right at the last minute.
"I'm running around like a headless chicken but I'm loving it," he said.
He couldn't say exactly how many tickets had been sold but the door girls said it was so many they had stopped counting.
As a musician himself, Mr Saxton created the not-for-profit festival to increase local artists' exposure.
"It's to give local bands the chance to play in front of crowds who wouldn't normally see them, people who don't necessarily go to pubs."
The festival was initially planned to take place at Big Hill Vineyard, but relocated to the Rifle Brigade Hotel.
The day saw more than 25 bands rock out from noon until 11pm.
Mr Saxton said the highlight for him was the performance by Lochey Doley Group, who played at the Bendigo festival during the day and then went on to play at Crown Casino last night.