Finally a festival right in the heart of the beautiful, picturesque, romantic setting of Napa Valley! Bottle Rock is a festival that encompasses all aspects of entertainment: live music, food, wine, comedy, and much more. Situated on four stages spread over 26 acres on the grounds at the Napa Valley Expo in the City of Napa, more than three dozen chefs and restaurateurs joined more than 50 wineries and artisan brewers during the inaugural Bottle Rock Napa Valley Music Festival.
Bottle Rock Festival deemed its name in order to pay homage to the ‘Bottle Shock’ phenomenon. This is the first year that Bottle Rock has come into existence, and has already garnered some major credibility and press. The perfect distinction between Bottle Rock and other festivals, is Bottle Rock is considered a ‘premium festival’ due to its depth, proximity, and not to mention killer lineup.
“We wanted to make Bottle Rock a big audacious event, and really establish ourselves, said Gabe from Will Power Events- a promoting company in Napa Valley, think of Bottle Rock as a killer concert series for music connoisseurs!” Bottle Rock is only able to hot 35,000 people per day which is far smaller than its ‘competitors’ such as: Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza which can hold nearly 100,000. Limited availability makes for a comfortable experience because everything is easily accessible and it is within the same price point as all the others.
Having the best time of your life while attending Bottle Rock Music Festival not only let you completely ‘rock out’, it allowed you to engage your inner-self and give back. This year’s festival benefit: Autism Chords, Bacchus Benefits Group, Non-Profit Partnerships, as well as The 300! Non-Profit organizations include: Institute for Conservation, Advocacy, Research, and Education, Believe in Bleachers Campaign, Girls on the run, Napa Valley Education Foundation, Land Trust of Napa County, Napa Valley Film Festival, Napa Valley Youth Symphony, Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County, CASA, Credo High School, Tug McGraw Foundation, Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, Napa Bike, Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, IMHRO, Global Zero, Crohn’s & Colitis foundation of America, Breast Cancer Fund, and The Rex Foundation.
The ‘good will’ doesn’t stop there either. For every festival ticket sold $4.00 went to their community partners, which were: Autism CHORDS (Cure, Housing, Ocean Resources, Development, and Socialization), Land Trust of Napa County, Foundation of Recreation (Napa Parks and Recreation), Downtown Merchants’ Association, Napa Valley Unified School District’s “Music Connection”.
In addition to the decadent cuisine, BottleRock Napa Valley featured an incredible lineup of more than 80 artists, bands and performers, including: Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, Further featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, Jane’s Addiction, The Shins, The Avett Brothers, Train, The Flaming Lips, The Black Crowes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Cake, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Primus, Alabama Shakes, Jackson Browne, Edward Sharpe and Th Magnetic Zeros along with comics such as: Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin, Aasif Mandvi, Anthony Jeselnik, Tig Notaro, Jim Breuer, Greg Behrendt, Wyatt Cenac, Rob Delaney, Kristen Schaal, Bill Burr, J Chris Newberg, and Natasha Leggero.
Kicking off the excitement were Macklemore & Ryan Lewis amongst many others. From ‘Thrift Shop’ to Same Love’ this duo defintley started the festival out right! Thursday were many favorites such as: The Avett Brothers, Silverado Pickups, Violent Femmes, and more. Friday night the main players were: Black Keys and the infamous Alabama Shakes! The sultry powerful voice of Brittney Howard, the leading lady of Alabama Shakes, is incredible. This band truly brings it and commits to each and every performance and delivered a unforgettable performance at Bottle Rock. The Black Keys sang oldies as well as their new jazz which always puts on an electrifying performance. From ‘Gold on The Ceiling’ to ‘Next Girl’, The Black Keys is one band that you will never forget.
Saturday the intensity did not die down, Donavon Frankenreiter kept the party going at the Miner stage at 4:00 p.m. He’s a long-time friend of Jack Johnson and has the same kind of feel-good surf music sound, though with higher energy. Comics such as: Wyatt Cenac, Aasif Mandvii, and Jim Gaffigan had everyone rolling in the Comedy Closet. Bad Religion, Best Coast, amongst others hit the stage. Jane’s Addiction hit the stage along with a nice bottle of wine. “It’s what you do when you’re in wine country, isn’t it”, as he teased the crowd. Kings of Leon close out the night on the Willpower stage, which was an obscene amount of fun. Kings of Leon churned out a great set of growling rock, which included “Sex On Fire,” “Knocked Up” and “Use Somebody.”
The last day solidified why everyone will be jumping at the thought of coming to Bottle Rock next year. Kristen Schaal took the stage in the comedy closet, which had a surprise continuation with a few of the cast from the hit cartoon show Bobs Burgers. “My stomach is a bank for alcohol, and I’ve gotta make a deposit”, she joked. Greg Behrendt and Rob Delaney also joined in on the fun and kept the laughs going. Train, Cake, Grouplove, The Wallflowers, Zac Brown Band were amongst many others that closed out the festival. Zac Brown Band had everyone two-stepping, giddy-upping, ho-heyying, and running the fields which made for the perfect ending to the festival
Cheers to Bottle Rock Napa Valley, a new music, food and wine festival in Northern California, for a solid first year. While San Francisco hosts big events like Outside Lands and Treasure Island music festivals annually, it’s an exciting debut for the wine country, an area that already has a lot going for it. There were around 120,000 people there this year, and it will be back again this time next year.
A hidden gem that is often overlooked, Napa Valley, is known as ‘wine country’. Recently the city has decided to be more than the norm and bring a fresh, young, and inspiring twist to what everyone has always known. The scenery in Napa combined with the high intensity performance delivered by each and every band truly put into perspective what Napa Valley has to offer.
“The music speaks for itself, says Gabe, this will be a rock show with people with a palette for music.” What more can you ask for?! Breathtaking setting, decadent bites, fresh brews and wines all the while of soaking in melodic tunes and great laughs, Bottle Rock Festival is setting the bar high- and is definitely one for the books!
For a recap over this amazing festival view the below video and get in on the ‘pre-sale’ for 2014: www.bottlerocknapavalley.com.