Through the eyes of a…
A NAPA NATIVE
I recently had the opportunity to interview a local Napa Valley female who attended Bottlerock 2013-2018. Bottlerock is Napa’s first large-scale music festival that began five years ago in California’s destination wine valley.
This past month (May 2018) Bottlerock Napa featured acts such as Bruno Mars, Billy Idol, the Killers, and Incubus.
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I got the scoop from this Napa resident on Bottlerock’s rising success over the past few years, and how it compares to others in this genre. Curious to see from her what this particular event is like, I ended up finding out that it brings a unique flavor to the music festival scene due to its site. The lovely green rolling hills of Napa Valley and it’s culture are a perfect back drop for this more sophisticated outdoor concert experience.
Me: For those who don’t know much about Bottlerock Napa, how would you describe it?
Her: Bottlerock Napa is a musical and cultural event that takes place over a 3 day weekend every year in May in downtown Napa, and started in 2013.
Me: Which year was your favorite?
Her: Last month’s was amazing and I think maybe my favorite to date. Last year mega entertainment company Live Nation partnered with the Latitude 38 OG owners. I believe this has given them the ability to bring on some very talented and relevant artists and a strong line-up!
Me: Who was your favorite performer?
Her: The Chainsmokers! Their set blew me away. They had an amazing stage presence and the crowd’s energy was insane. I haven’t seen an EDM performance like that in a long time!
Me: I know you have been to a ton of musical festivals including Coachella and Burning Man. What makes Bottlerock different from those or say something like a Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas?
Her: Napa brings its culture. Obviously up here we are known for our delicious food and most importantly our world-renowned wines. Many of the wineries and restaurants represent at Bottlerock here in Napa. From wineries like Schramsberg (the most delicious sparkling wine ever) to Silver Oak Cellars (their Cab is a must try) and even award-winning Chefs like Giada de Laurentiis and even the Iron Chef himself, Morimoto.
I would also say the average age is much older than the other festivals you mentioned. I’m 38, and I felt slightly younger than most people in the VIP sections. Definitely would not be the case if I were at Coachella. LOL
Me: I get it. Age demographic becomes important when you get older because your experience possibly will be either enhanced or ruined because of the environment around you. AKA you don’t want to hang out next to a bunch of screaming teenagers when Bruno Mars performs.
That brings me to my next question. Are buying VIP tickets worth it?
Her: I think so. The first couple years I didn’t opt in for VIP, but now it’s the only way to go for me. Of course it has grown exponentially in crowd size over the years, so if you want to get anywhere near the stage and see the performances VIP is the answer.
(See more details about VIP tickets below)
Me: Would you say Bottlerock is kid friendly?
Her: Yes and No. The artists do not tone it down (profanity, middle fingers in the air, etc..) because of children being present. It’s still a concert at the end of the day so that’s to be expected, artistic freedom. My kids are obsessed with the silent disco (a rave like live music experience with wireless headphones where the music transmits to the headphone wearing participants). White Panda was an awesome silent disco and I believe one of the largest in the U.S.
Me: If you would have to guess, how many Napa locals do you think attend Bottlerock? Or is it more of a tourist attraction?
Her: I would say 80% of the people I know in Napa attend. We don’t have anything else like this in the Valley so we all want to experience it annually.
ME: It’s like having a luxurious community backyard BBQ only on a grander scale.
HER: Haha, definitely -just a wee bit larger. It has already grown so much in the past 5 years, not sure what it will look like with an even bigger crowd in the upcoming years. They may have to find a new venue!
need to know
If you are interested in attending Bottlerock 2019… It sells out in 8 minutes. Set your alarm clock and purchase!
ABOUT VIP– There are 4 different levels of VIP. The first level VIP is great for those who don’t want to splurge for the top premium Platinum package, but also want to have more of a luxury experience over general admission. Some other VIP perks include your own entrance, your own food and drink tents, full bar, and… if you splurge for the higher level VIP, you can even score some acoustic set invitations by the artists.
FYI- my source told me if you are more of say a vodka lover or spirits drinker in general, it is almost impossible to find unless you are in a VIP section where there is a full bar and craft cocktails available.
Recommended Craft Beers to try: Voodoo Haze IPA and Man Juice Mandarin IPA
Recommended Favorite Food Truck: Curry It Up
2019 Bottlerock Napa
I’m coming for you. Sign me up!
Check out the photos below if you are interested in going♥