Ben Harper

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers headline Saturday at BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

This year’s Saturday at BottleRock Napa Valley promised to be a beautiful warm and breezy 75 degrees, the perfect weather for a festival full of good music, great food and all the beer, wine, and cocktails you can handle! Once again, there were more acts scheduled than was possible to see all at once, so I had to pick and choose pieces of sets from the bands I most wanted to see to make it all work. (For example, who wants to decide between House of Pain and Bishop Briggs? I wanted to “jump around” and jam out with Ms. Briggs… [read the whole post]

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A brand new festival just outside my front door.

A brand new festival just outside my front door.

When rumors about the first ever BottleRock Napa festival began to circulate, they were impressive: early flyers listed Dave Matthews Band and Pearl Jam as headliners (neither was ever confirmed). Still, the festival had the attention of the Napa Valley and surrounding music lovers long ago.

Once the final lineup had been released and tickets purchased, however, it was time to finally see what all the hype had been about. Because my home is in such a central location within “Napa proper,” as we all call the city of Napa (so as not to confuse it with the rest of “the Valley”), I didn’t actually experience the crazy traffic so many locals worried about. And while I did hear on one of the first few days (Weds or Thurs, though I’m not 100% certain which) that it took someone approximately 90 minutes to reach the Napa Expo from Fairfield (normally a 25-30 minute drive), I know for sure that the traffic relaxed and was relatively comparable to any other holiday weekend. (Which is to say, not insane as predicted.) The parking situation was the same as it usually is, I know for sure. The first three days, I arrived well before noon. As such, I beat the crowds and was able to find nearby parking with such ease that I chalked that up to my knowledge of the neighborhood, vs. all those who were coming in from out of area who didn’t know where to look (and as a result, were paying $25-40 to park much farther away). [read the whole post]

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