They say the 90s ended 14 years ago now but maybe someone forgot to relay that information to the Latitude 38 Entertainment team who has taken over operations for the BottleRock Music Festival in Napa, CA. Just one look at the schedule and you’ll feel like you’ve just bought a ticket to Lollapalooza 1996. Last year saw the lineup littered with lavish names such as the Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction and more. This year, however, the crowd will see a much different offering from the young upstart who seems to be creating a name for themselves in just their second year. With such commercial successes as Outkast, Weezer, the Cure, and LL Cool J the weekend seems primed for nostalgia.
While the weekend does seem to feature more bands from the turn of the century than one might expect in 2014, Sublime with Rome and Third Eye Blind will share the stage with some current chart climbers as well. Artists such as Matt and Kim, TV on the Radio, Stone Foxes, Deerhunter, and the Fray will create a nice mix of mainstream and indie success.
After last year’s top heavy lineup and subsequent financial debacle, it was refreshing to see the promoters of BottleRock take a different approach and create a pretty even field that is littered with talented artists both old and new. It also appears the festival heard the deafening cries of last year’s patrons after scheduling some of the biggest drawing artists to play concurrently, thus creating a frustrating walk from stage to stage in order to catch a couple of songs at a time from each act. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that will be the case this year. With such an even field, attendees will have the opportunity to pick one set or choose to sit near the centrally located food court to pick up the ambient sounds from any of the four stages.
Speaking of the food court, it’s impossible to do BottleRock’s selection of local grub justice with mere words. Northern California, more specifically the Bay Area and by extension Napa, has some of the most unique food in the country. Oh, and they also have, you know, booze. Whether it’s a tikka masala burrito from Curry Up Now or a burger from Bacon Bacon, you’ll have the opportunity to wash it down with a glass from one of the multiple Napa Valley wineries on site or a craft brew, if you so choose.
It appears BottleRock has landed on its feet after being in some serious doubt, at least in the public eye, for the last year. With other festivals such as Outside Lands growing so rapidly, it’s great to see competitor step to the forefront. The Napa Expo is an ideal place to hold a festival of this sort, as it offers a large amount of space which is traverse-able in a short period of time. Here’s to hoping this year goes off without a hitch and this young sapling is able to gain more traction going forward. Friday is just around the corner and I can’t wait to be back up in Napa for a trip down memory lane as I witness seemingly every one of my favorite songs from the 90s performed before my very eyes.
Written by Mitch Inkrott
OurVinyl | Contributor