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The Beat of the Drum

‘The First Taste of Summer’: Saturday

Helena Parker, Reporter

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Ask any Napa local what the busiest weekend of the year is in this town, and their answer will most likely be Bottlerock weekend. The three-day festival boasts itself as being “the first taste of summer” with star-studded musical performances, food and wine from around the valley, and more. This was the event’s fifth year, and there were many visible improvement from the other years, such as more bathrooms, diverse food choices, and even grass to sit and stand on for additional comfort.

Saturday, May 27th’s lineup included headliner Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, as well as other performances by Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Dirty Heads, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Andra Day, the Napa Youth Symphony, and much more. Bottlerock is great for both teenagers and adults due to its wide variety of music and activities. Whether someone is applying free flash-tattoos with friends, dancing in the Silent Disco, or enjoying a performance, this event is fit for people of all ages.

Leann Rody, a junior at Napa High, enjoyed her first year at Bottlerock, noting that her favorite performer on Saturday was Dirty Heads. Sophomore Owen Zuidema had attended the event in the past and agrees that this group was the best that day. However, their favorite group overall was Bad Suns, who performed on the Lagunitas stage on Sunday.

Although each performer is unique from the next, there was a common theme of peace which the performers advocated for, regardless of music genre. Friday afternoon, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis expressed their distaste for hate in any situation. They did this both through their music and brief monologues, a pattern which was copied on Saturday by Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Andra Day.

Andra Day spoke out against unnecessary violence in recent years, including the bombings in Manchester, England on May 22nd. Michael Franti’s music focuses on the happier and more positive moments in life, rather than any negative situations, and he promotes the joining of people together through music as well as loving one another in general.

Andra Day, on the other hand, often displayed somber lyrics, which resulted in more emotional music. However, both artists attempted to be an uplifting influence and to ease people’s mind through their musical capabilities and the power of their words.

Both Zuidema and Rody enjoyed the options at the diverse “Culinary Garden” and food trucks. Zuidema’s favorite meal from the weekend was a “Monster Burger” from the taco truck, Me So Hungry. Rody’s was pizza from the popular restaurant Ca’Momi. With its food, fun activities, drinks, and musical performances, Bottlerock seems to be drawing in more and more eager participants each year.

This event has gained much popularity over its years and draws in locals from Napa and tourists from across or even out of the country. Zuidema’s final thought on the weekend is that “Bottlerock has become a huge part of Napa’s culture and [he is] really happy to have been able to experience it with all of [his] friends”

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‘The First Taste of Summer’: Saturday