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Welcome to BottleRock



In the 1960s, Napa Valley was an underdog recovering from the catastrophic damage caused by prohibition. The region also struggled to earn the respect of being a world class wine region, which at the time was not a foregone conclusion. By the 1990s, that respect had been earned and then some, with Napa Valley quickly becoming a symbol of financial wealth and indulgent excess, a playground for the prosperous to celebrate their success. James Conaway summed it up in his book, “the far side of eden,” saying:

…something was wrong. People disagreed over when “it” had happened, and why, but not about the effect: a real, and growing, sense of loss. They felt it while sitting in a long line of cars on Highway 29, looking up at once pristine slopes dense with conifer and chaparral, studded now with “steroid houses,” “muscle houses,” “McMansions,” all contemptuous names for places built not to live in but as monuments to finance, visited by absentee owners.

In that era of affluent exclusivity, the thought of bringing a massive music festival to Napa Valley would have been laughable and doomed to fail. In recent years, however, we find ourselves in the midst of a very special time in Napa Valley as a cultural equilibrium is being restored. It’s difficult to know what brought on this evolution, but what is clear is that the Napa Valley experience is coming to life in grand and glorious new ways, and I believe that BottleRock represents the tipping point in that evolutionary journey. It’s fitting, as rock and roll has always been a great equalizer. Music is a medium with the ability to channel mystical energy in a way that can inspire thinking for the better. And I suspect that once the dust settles, after four days of soaring melodies filling the sky and the collective roar of tens of thousands magnificently echoing up the valley, that Napa Valley will never be the same.

Last night, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis kicked off BottleRock’s inaugural music festival, though the festivities officially start today as thousands of music lovers flock to Napa. The population of this sleepy town will increase by nearly half and continue to swell into the weekend where bands like The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and the Zac Brown Band will play.

Today, attendees will see:

The Avett Brothers
The Black Crowes
Delta Spirit
Violent Femmes
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
and much more.

Be sure to stop by the Mutineer Magazine tent and say hi.


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