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BottleRock: Napa Valley

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Some festivals start with a big name company behind them, Boston Calling began with JetBlue and Chipotle. But others start with more humble beginnings. BottleRock Napa Valley began with two men and a dream. The dream turned into a three day festival which it’s own website dubs as “simply the Ultimate Celebration.”

The festival began in 2013, and was the first large-scale music festival in Napa Valley. It included food and wine vendors, and three stages with 60 bands. Some of the wealth of talent on show at the festival were bands such as: The Shins, Joan Jett, The Avett Brothers, Cake, Kings of Leon, and The Black Keys.

Though there were a few snags after last year’s festival (vendors claim they weren’t paid for their time and services) the show will go on this year! Four new Napa residents (who work together at their start-up Latitude 38) bought the rights to put on the festival, and are vamping it up. This year BottleRock is BottleRock 2.0.

This year’s lineup provides something for everyone. Signed on as headliners are: The Cure, Outkast, Eric Church and Weezer. Expect more than 45 artists spread across 4 stages, including Third Eye Blind, Weezer, The Fray, LL Cool J and Howie Day. The event will also feature a stage with local performers, such as The Deadlies, Soft White Sixties, The Sorry Lot and Grass Child.

The company Latitude 38 is working with 20/20 hindsight. They saw what worked, and what didn’t last year, and are building upon it to create the new festival. This year the festival takes place on May 30 - June 1, a departure from the early May dates of last year.

The festival webpage boasts many different types of cuisine to be sampled and savored. The organizers have partnered with many wineries and restaurants in and around Napa County to provide the best quality and variety of food, wine and beer.

The festival ensnares downtown Napa, meaning the festival-goers will get a chance to experience the beautiful Northern Californian city. It also means Napa residents must deal with the throng of people. Last year the festival wracked up noise complaints, regarding the overly loud music and the festival guests themselves.

On the festival’s webpage a very nice note asks guests to “Be a good neighbor” and stay on the sidewalks instead of wandering into peoples gardens, and avoid excessive noise. The unofficial motto of BottleRock appears to be “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” After the shaky first year, it looks like the new festival runners are trying to please everyone, and here’s hoping they can pull it off.

Tickets are on sale now. Prices range from $149 (single-day admission) to $3000 (Platinum three-day admission). Parking is additional. Tickets are available at www.bottlerocknapavalley.com and www.ticketfly.com

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