By Dave Pehling
NAPA (CBS SF) — Now in it’s sixth year, BottleRock Napa Valley returns on Memorial Day weekend with a huge line-up of rock, soul and hip-hop acts including headliners Muse, the Killers and Bruno Mars.
While the inaugural BottleRock festival faced financial struggles including unpaid vendors and hefty traffic problems when the event was first held in 2013, a change in ownership found festival organizers landing on their collective feet the following year when they managed to put together a crowd-pleasing three-day celebration of music and food that silenced many critics. BottleRock’s popularity has grown exponentially in the last few years, culminating in last year’s sold-out crowds that saw Maroon 5, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Foo Fighters and the late Tom Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers.
BottleRock Napa Valley offers up what may be the festival’s most eclectic music line-up yet this weekend along with expanded culinary and winery offerings to round out the three-day party. In addition to the four stages hosting live music, BottleRock welcomes back the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage that will present a schedule of demonstrations and performances that will feature an all-star line-up of chefs interacting with a variety of musicians, vitners, well-known actors and professional athletes.
The stage will once again be hosted by KCBS “Foodie Chap” Liam Mayclem, who will introduce such figures as Grammy award-winning country artist and cookbook author Trisha Yearwood, Food Network star Chef Giada De Laurentiis, returning Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Top Chef Jr. host Graham Elliot, Top Chef competitor and successful restaurateurs Michael Voltaggio, Travel Channel star Adam Richman and a host of food stars with Bay Area ties including Tony Cervone, Tyler Rodde and Aaron Meneghelli.
The cooking luminaries will team onstage with such entertainment notables as BottleRock 2018 performers Halsey, cultural icon and hip-hop great Snoop Dog, Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation, Beastie Boys member Mike D, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, socially conscious Bay Area songwriter Michael Franti, Vallejo hip-hop legend E-40 and Joe Kwon of the Avett Brothers to name a few in addition to Howard Stern Show personality Gary Dell’Abate (aka “Baba Booey”), former Oakland Raider Charles Woodson, actor/comedian George Lopez, Olympic Gold Medal Winner Shaun White, Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., MLB all-time home run king Barry Bonds and boxing great and cookbook author Laila Ali.
Friday will feature a headlining sets on the main Jam Cellars Stage by bombastic British indie rockers Muse while electronic dance-pop duo the Chainsmokers hold forth on the Midway Stage, but plenty of other entertaining acts will perform earlier in the day, Returning glam-rock revivalists the Struts, jazzy funk phenom Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, ’70s soul legends Earth, Wind & Fire, alt-rock favorites Incubus, modern funkateers Tank and the Bangas and southern soul specialists St. Paul & the Broken Bones.
Saturday’s schedule will be topped by modern rockers the Killers, but the day offers more in the way of hip-hop with Snoop Dogg and E-40 balancing out sets from ’80s punk icon Billy Idol, indie rockers the Head and the Heart and Bleachers, roots rock from Willie Nelson’s son Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real and Pokey LaFarge as well as perennial festival favorite Michael Franti and Spearhead.
On Sunday, the festivities will come to a close with a set from pop-soul singer and Super Bowl halftime show veteran Bruno Mars. Other must-see acts to catch on Sunday include electro-pop star Halsey, veteran global electronic-dance duo Thievery Corporation, swinging, soulful jazz-pop group Lake Street Dive, soul acts Allen Stone and Durand Jones & The Indications and jazz-funk heroes the Motet. The festival will also be presenting a variety of official aftershow concerts both in Wine Country and around the Bay Area at venues like the Fillmore and the UC Theater all weekend long. For more information on schedules, parking and more, visit the BottleRock Napa Valley website.
BottleRock Napa Valley 2018
Friday-Sunday, May 25-27, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. $139-$3,000
Napa Valley Expo