Napa’s biggest music, food, and wine/brew festival came to a close Sunday night after 3 jam packed days of massive headliners, celebrity chefs, and a plethora of activity-filled sponsor booths. For a festival only in its fifth year, the organizers of BottleRock really know how to pull off a crowd-pleasing event (for over 120,000 festival goers). Last year was my inaugural BottleRock experience, and I was so fortunate to be granted a 3-day VIP pass this time around after winning a photo contest from BottleRock on Instagram last year.
If you are considering going to BottleRock next year, here is information that may be helpful. This is my favorite festival so I can’t say enough positive things about it.
Highlights of BottleRock 2017
- Favorite performances: Foo Fighters, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and the Naked & Famous.
- Favorite meal: Paella from Gerard’s Paella.
- Favorite interactive sponsor booths: Alaska Airlines (cool photo booth and free Moscow Mule making kit), Columbus Craft Meats (free salami), and Jim Beam (free fan that turns on when plugged into your phone!).
- Coors Light Sports Bar: we loved this place not only as a momentary escape from the heat, but because they printed out free Instagram photos whenever you used the hashtags #BottleRock and #HopValley together! There was no limit on the photos you could print.
Why I love BottleRock
- It’s not just a music festival. It also celebrates two defining characteristics of Napa (and two of my loves): food and drinks. And the breadth of variety they offer is wonderful! They have sushi, pizza, burgers, falafel, cupcakes, Indian, dim sum, vegan, and so much more. Where else can you get discounted noted Napa restaurant food from the likes of Mustard’s and Morimoto?!
- The design details. BottleRock is so well thought out that I’d love to see an ultra-high-speed video of the organizers putting it together. There is something photo-worthy in every direction – from colorful lanterns, beautifully placed lights, large art displays, to live mural paintings.
- Its demographic is more mature than most music festivals. This means no teenagers running around wasted and puking their lunches out behind a tree or on a perfectly good patch of grass. For the most part, BottleRock festival goers are fun but appear to know their limits.
Accommodation & Transportation for BottleRock
- Accommodation in Napa is not cheap so my group of 5 opted for an Airbnb in Suisun City, which is 25 minutes east of the festival. It was just $435 for 2 nights ($217 per night) in an entire home to ourselves and I thought the location was great.
- Last year my group stayed in a secluded Airbnb in Sonoma for a much higher price. This is also a good option, but the festival traffic from Sonoma to Napa is worse.
- I recommend booking your accommodations as far in advance as possible, as Napa is a popular destination in general.
- We drove everyday, but the festival does offer free shuttles to and from San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, Fairfield, Sonoma, Mill Valley, Palo Alto and Santa Rosa.
Is VIP worth it?
- What comes with a VIP wristband: separate access to food, drinks, sponsors, and viewing areas (some sections are raised for better viewing). The best perk of VIP was the VIP-only acoustic stage, which featured many bands and artists in an intimate environment. We were a little choked when The Naked & Famous didn’t end up playing during their slot though.
- Personally, my current financial state would not allow me to purchase a $709 festival pass regularly. However, I think it’s worthwhile – especially for the intimate shows – if you have the extra money to spend. Maybe someday…
- General Admission: $139 (1 day) and $349 (3 day)
- VIP: $275 (1 day) and $709 (3 day)
BottleRock 2017 in Photos:
Let me know if you have any questions about BottleRock or if you have anything to share about your BottleRock experience!