Napa Valley music festival returns to Memorial Day weekend.
Does it feel like we just celebrated BottleRock 2021? You’re not entirely wrong. With COVID-19 safety restrictions postponing last year’s festival to Labor Day weekend, we geared up for BottleRock 2022 a mere eight months later. This year the famed festival returned to Memorial Day weekend with an all-star lineup of music, wine, spirits, and food. The energy was different as the weekend kicked off on Friday, May 27. Perhaps it was the mid -70s sunshine, the height of pandemic uncertainty (though not the pandemic itself) appearing to be behind us, or just the smile on every passing face. Whatever the reason, there was much to celebrate in downtown Napa, California.
Performances from headliners Metallica, Twenty One Pilots, and P!nk were a welcomed representation of different genders, generations, and genres. On Friday night, Metallica showed the audience why they have been around for four decades, playing classics like “Fade to Black” and “Enter Sandman.” Twenty One Pilots provided some the biggest surprises on Saturday night: after they played favorites like “Heathen” and “Stressed Out,” they lit an actual campfire on stage. They then took seats around the fire and to play acoustic versions of “I Can See Clearly Now,” “Kiss from a Rose,” “Careless Whisper,” and “My Girl.” Closing out the weekend was P!nk, returning from a 3-year break from performing. She didn’t figuratively—or literally—miss a beat given her hiatus. “Get this Party Started” and “Just Like a Pill” started off the show, but P!nk rose above expectations with a high-flying performance above the Sunday night crowd. She attached the harness and performed “So What” to remind fans that she hasn’t lost her acrobatic singing skills. Other great performances by Kygo, Chvrches, Skip Marley, Ron Artis II, Pitbull, and super group Mount Westmore made up of rap legends Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Too $hort, and E-40 rounded out the festival’s lineup.
What would a festival in wine country be without some of the biggest wineries pairing their vino with great performances? For the sixth year in a row, Jam Cellars, the presenting sponsor of BottleRock Napa Valley, was back with two venues. First, the “JamPad” stage hosted artists for more intimate performances, while still providing a direct view of the headliners rocking the main stage. New this year was the second venue, the “Butter Cab-ana,” which was offering not only the new Butter Cab and Butter Bubbles, but also a place to meet with a few up-and-coming artists. Some of wine country’s best vintners were pouring, including Mumm Napa, Robert Mondavi, JustPink!, Schramsberg Vineyards, Flora Springs, Foley Johnson Winery, Bonita Bonita, Smith Devereux, and many more.
There were also new activations like Monkey Shoulder’s Whisky Secret Speakeasy. Festival-goers could access the Monkey Shoulder party through a secret porta-potty door that transported lucky patrons right into a fun speakeasy where they were serving a few delicious cocktails while dancing the day away. The Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage was where food, wine, and music combined for the arguably the best performances of the day. Hosted by Emmy Award winning TV personality and KCBS “Foodie Chap” Liam Mayclem. Some of the world’s most celebrated culinary talents, such as Matt Horn, Aarón Sánchez, and Michael Mina, teamed with musicians and celebrities like Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, Tiffani Thiessen, P!nk, Twenty One Pilots, Luke Combs, E-40 and Too $hort (of Mount Westmore), and Warren G.
We will have to wait a full year this time for the next BottleRock, so mark your calendars now for May 26-28, 2023!