"We're putting the rock into BottleRock and owning it — we love rock, we love guitars and it's reflective of the lineup we put together," said Graham, who along with partners Justin Dragoo and Jason Scoggins, bought the one-year-old festival and brought it back to life as a destination hospitality event, with a general admission experience that rivals the VIP sections of bigger California festivals. In 2017, the three partners sold a majority stake to Live Nation and have developed a second annual event in September, the Sonoma Harvest Music Festival at B.R. Cohn Winery.
Also performing on this year's lineup is rapper Logic, who was one of three artists to grace the cover of Billboard's 2018 Year in Music issue, and Ryan Tedder's OneRepublic, which is headliner level in the Bay Area. Also performing Friday is Sylvan Esso, Flogging Molly, Jenny Lewis, Neon Trees and vintage country crooners Midland, while Saturday features Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Juanes, Cypress Hill and Elle King. Sunday closes with Tash Sultana, Lord Huron, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Big Boi and Citizen Cope.
"It's a 16-month process with an incredible staff," Graham said of the lineup and planning that goes into pulling off the huge festival on a relatively small site in the middle of the city of Napa, including help from their partners at Live Nation.
"Live Nation has been the best partner we could have ever hoped for," said Graham, who said the competition for headliner talent this year was fierce as talent buyers across the country try to book A-list acts. "I was able to reach out to [Live Nation CEO] Michael Rapino for help and serve as a mentor counseling me on how to approach the issues" the festival was facing in a red hot festival market.
"Thankfully, we know who we are and we know what we want," Graham said of the festival, which includes a culinary stage, food frrom Napa Valley celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, dozens of choices of craft beer, specialty cocktails and wine from some of Napa Valley's best local vintners. Tickets go on sale Thursday (Jan. 10). General admission tickets are $359, with Skydeck and VIP Viewing tickets priced at $1,599.
Find out more at bottlerocknapavalley.com.