Highlights from BottleRock Napa Valley 2015: The Best of the Fest

Expectations were set high for BottleRock and the festival did not disappoint

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2015 Intel Stage. Image: Sherrie Perkovich

SONOMA, June 2, 2015 – The Bottlerock Napa Valley Festival has once again conquered Napa Valley and the music industry. It was three fun-filled, sun-soaked days of stellar music, juicy wine, and tasty culinary treats that were had by all 100,000 attendees.

Expectations were set high for this festival, with a stunning musical line-up that included Snoop Dogg, No Doubt (with Gwen Stefani), Imagine Dragons, Foster the People, Cage the Elephant, Young the Giant and ageless rocker Robert Plant.

After living, breathing and drinking the festival for three glorious days, here’s the best of the fest and what to look forward to next May.

BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds gets intimate with the crowd. Image: Greg Miller
BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds gets intimate with the crowd. Image: Greg Miller

 


The Music:

Overall the music was spectacular, and each and every stage was surrounded by adoring fans at all times. The support from this music-loving crowd had to be felt 10-fold by the artists. At a festival such as this, it is impossible to see everyone, but here’s a list of personal favorites that you should make an effort to see live and buy some of their music.

  1. JJ Grey & MOFRO
  2. The London Souls
  3. Robert Plant
  4. Imagine Dragons
  5. Awolnation
  6. The Last Internationale
  7. ZZ Ward
  8. Gipsy Kings
  9. Cage the Elephant
  10. Public Enemy
  11. The Record Company
  12. The Frail
  13. Battle Tapes
  14. Michael Franti & Spearhead
  15. Fritz Montana
BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. JJ Grey & MOFRO perform. Image: Greg Miller
BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. JJ Grey & MOFRO perform. Image: Greg Miller

A personal favorite moment at the festival was during the JJ Grey & MOFRO show. Admittedly, they were one of the bands I was really looking forward to seeing this year, and they did not disappoint. With the sun beating down warming the well-buzzed crowd, the horns started chirping out a familiar tune and our hair began to stand up on end.

Within a few subtle blows from the horn section, I knew what was coming.

Moments felt like days, my mouth began to salivate and even though the sun shone warm upon us, I had a chill beginning at my feet and working its way up my spine as I awaited the first few chords of that familiar tune. And then there it was… finally…JJ’s soulful and raspy voice began to belt out ”How many more days can you hold out? How much longer can you wait? There was a time I thought I could answer, but my tongue gets tied as my thoughts drift away. Glory, glory – Hallelujah! The sun is shining, shining down. Glory, glory – Hallelujah. I’m alive and I’m feeling, feeling fine.”

Truer words could not have been spoken.

The crowd rewarded the band with a loud and spirited exaltation of their appreciation for the moment, the song and the absolutely perfect surroundings. With a glass of JCB bubbles in my hand and my friends by my side, we sipped, swayed, sang and were alive and feeling fine.

BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. The London Souls perform on the City Winery Stage. Image: Sherrie Perkovich
BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. The London Souls perform on the City Winery Stage. Image: Sherrie Perkovich

The Wine

The wine line-up this year was just as impressive as past years. Upon arrival on Friday to BottleRock, festival-goers were ready to get their groove on. It was easy to spot the best wines. All you had to do was look for the longest lines and head there.

As the day became night, wine drinkers either became less discerning or they switched to other beverages.

Here’s a short list of the best wines at BottleRock Napa Valley this year.

  1. Miner Family Winery
  2. Schramsberg
  3. JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset
  4. Twomey Cellars
  5. Etude
  6. Robert Mondavi
  7. Silver Oak Cellars
  8. NakedWines.com
  9. Round Pond Estate
  10. Starmont Winery
BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. The Last Internationale rock the Jam Stage. Image: Sherrie Perkovich
BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. The Last Internationale rock the Jam Stage. Image: Sherrie Perkovich

The Beer

A music festival of any sort is not complete without beer. Even in Napa Valley beer is an essential element to add to the mix. Sure you can still sip the old domestic go-to brews, but BottleRock did a great job of getting local, national and international beer producers at the fest this year, including a handy little craft beer village at which to sit and curl your lip over some of the finest brews while still being within ear shot of the tunes.

A few favorites included:

  1. Lagunitas Brewing Company
  2. Anchor Brewing
  3. Blue Moon

The Food

It’s difficult to try everything and give a complete report about the food. The wine and beer were wonderful, however the food might be the most important, non-music based element of BottleRock. Without food, it would be very difficult to keep enjoying the wine and beer at the pace demanded by thirsty festival-goers.

This year the line-up showed great promise and delivered. A few favorite bites included: Tarla Grill, Eiko’s, Ca’ Momi, Morimoto Napa, Smoke, Tip Tri-Tip, and a bit of Sweetie Pies and Three Twins Ice Cream for dessert.

Festivalgoers traveled in from all directions around the Bay Area for this wine-brew-food-music lover’s paradise. Recently deemed one of the world’s best festivals by Fest300, BottleRock Napa Valley has earned this recognition.

Next year’s BottleRock festival will be on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, 2016. Pre-sale tickets are on sale now for a limited time.

BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. Awolnation electrifies the crowd. Image: Sherrie Perkovich
BottleRock Napa Valley 2015. Awolnation electrifies the crowd. Image: Sherrie Perkovich

Accommodation Suggestions for 2016

The city of Napa has hotels of every shape, size and budget (sort of). Here is a top 5 list of a few favorites that are walking distance to the festival.

Check their websites or call them to find out any specials for the festival.

  • Westin Verasa Napa: 1314 Mckinstry Street, 888.627.7169
  • Inn on Randolph: 411 Randolph Street, 707.257.2886
  • Inn on First: 1938 First Street, 707.253.1331
  • Andaz Napa: 1450 First Street, 707.687.1234
  • Meritage Resort & Spa: 875 Bordeaux Way, 707.251.1900
  • White House Inn: 443 Brown Street, 707.254.9301
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Sherrie Perkovich
Sherrie is a perky, music and wine-loving, Northern California local that seeks out and spreads the word about San Francisco experiences as well as unforgettable wine-related travel experiences. She is CMO of The Grape Hunter USA, where they focus on helping artisan wineries and developing unique wine travel for consumers. Follow her on Twitter @BigNoseWino Sherrie is a San Francisco local that fancies herself an extroverted fine dining, wine drinking, know-it-all. If it’s happening near SF, Sherrie is in on it. Follow her columns, for the widest range of Out and About San Francisco ~ San Jose treats and Wine Country Weekly.