Everything’s Better in Napa

Food, wine, spirits—even music festivals are delightful up north. Here’s what to know about this year’s BottleRock.

Though plenty of people are still stuck on Coachella for their return to live music, a more lowkey festival like BottleRock is actually the move for grown up music lovers. These days, local wine, great food, and a crowd that actually enjoys listening to music sounds like a better vibe than selfie sticks and body paint. (Plus, we’ve decided to officially graduate from the Sahara tent.)

And if you’re a music lover, who has been itching to get back out to a show after a couple of years on hiatus, this year’s lineup is one for the books: Metallic, Spoon, Luke Combs,The Black Crowes and Pink are all headlining. With plenty more artists on the three-day lineup (Kygo, Mount Westmore featuring Snoop Dogg, and Pitbull), and a whole host of other activities on the docket — get used to the phrase “culinary stage”— here’s everything you need to know about this NorCal weekend of music, food, and silent disco.

A stacked lineup with something for everyone.

The big names are always a great way to close out a long day of live music, but it’s smaller acts who really fill out BottleRock’s impressive roster. Soul singer Yola, pop songwriter Fletcher, and young blues icon Fantastic Negrito are all stars in the making, and Liily is slowly but surely becoming the best California rock band of the last decade. Spend some time listening to the artists playing earlier in the day before the fest, so you know which stage to make a beeline for once you’re there. Or, show up to the festival and shake out the last two years at the silent disco before moving into the crowd.

The food is just as much a draw as the music.

One of the best things about festival culture over the last few years is increased attention to the food. BottleRock boasts a “culinary stage,” where food celebrities come through to showcase their talents just like the musicians — and with food offerings that encompass every kind of cuisine imaginable, from dumplings, to paella, to donuts, dining at the event will be a delight. Then, there’s the wine. Make sure to get a glass of bubbly from Mumm Napa, cabernet by Stags’ Leap, and a glass of Pinot Noir by Robert Mondavi.

Go big or go home.

By the time you decide to get out to a festival, make your way to Napa, lock down some lodging and gear up for a day of music, food and mingling, why not make it a five-star experience? The VIP tickets at BottleRock are actually worth the extra dollars, with a separate space where guests can mingle with artists, and a viewing area right next to the stage, so jockeying for position in the crowd is a thing of the past.

If there’s a will, there’s a way — even with the festival coming up soon.

Slated for May 27–29, BottleRock is just around the corner. But the festival facilitates fan ticket exchanges and one day passes, or there’s always Craigslist and other reseller hubs if you need to grab some passes last minute. As for lodging, there’s always someplace to stay last minute. Don’t be deterred by logistics if a trip to Napa is in your heart.