BottleRock 2013 was an outrageous failure financially. The ownership group, BR Festivals LLC recently filed for bankruptcy. The LLC listed $4.5M in liabilities and $610,000 in assets. In the aftermath of so many creditors left unpaid, is Napa ready for BottleRock 2.0?
Yes, says Latitude 38 Entertainment, the proud new owners of the BottleRock Napa brand. L38 paid $60,000 for the rights and claim they will produce an even better BottleRock than last year.
We think the entire BottleRock discussion is interesting for a number of reasons. On initial consideration, one could make an argument that BottleRock is good for Napa as it will bring crowds and generate lots of restaurant and hotel revenue. A music venue also excites another demographic: not your typical Napa visitor. Developing a younger set of Napa wine devotees could be a good thing. And, diversifying the Napa brand away from just “wine” could also be considered beneficial. But will all wineries, big and small, benefit from increased crowds in the neighborhood? Or, will only the wineries offering their wines for sale at the festival benefit, or the biggest wineries? And let’s not forget, the concern over traffic, noise and trash…can this be managed and will it offset benefits of a music festival downtown?
The L38 guys feel so. In an interview with the Napa Valley Register, David Graham of L38 states that he got involved with BottleRock 2014 because he thinks he can help, he thinks BottleRock should stay in Napa, and he thinks he can make money.
There will be some changes to this year’s BottleRock. The festival will be just 3 days this year (May 30 – June 1) as opposed to the 4.5 days last year, and the number of bands will be fairly comparable at just over 60. But one could argue that the lineup is not as spectacular (according to Stereogum 4/21/14, BottleRock 2014 could be considered the “strangest lineup of 2014”). L38 wants there to be something for everyone so multiple genres are included in the lineup and many were particularly popular in the 90’s. L38 also claims they have listened to neighborhood complaints and sound and traffic will be better under control.
We love music and we love music with wine, so we are excited to see how the event fares. We hope this event succeeds, both as a musical venue that’s good for Napa and as a business venture for L38 as well as the entire community. We do feel that if BottleRock 2014 is poorly attended, or if there are any major mishaps, that would be horrible press for Napa as a whole.
So let’s Monday morning quarterback June 2. We’ll get back to you with a full report. Can’t wait.
- Napa Valley Register (NVR), 2/6/14, “Updated: Producer of BottleRock 2013 files for bankruptcy”
- San Jose Mercury News, 2/7/14, “BottleRock Napa Valley festival returns for 2014”
- KQED Arts, 4/14/14, “What is up with BottleRock 2014?”
- NVR, 3/26/14, “Meet the chief of BR 2014”
- Stereogum, 4/21/14, “Is BR the strangest festival line-up of 2014?”