​BottleRock 2023: A Look Into What's New And Still Stellar
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​BottleRock 2023: A Look Into What's New And Still Stellar

The glitz and glam are there, the photographable spots are ever-present, and there is music blaring in all directions — but what makes this festival its own is the strong influence of culinary and distillery talent, entertainment, and meals.

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Lizzo
Lauren Hernandez

BottleRock Music Festival is a must-add to your bucket or festival list! Whether you are an avid concert or festival goer, foodie, traveler, or local, I guarantee you'll have an exceptional time at the festival located in the heart of Napa, California.

The ever-growing festival brings in large and diverse crowds from around the world. What makes the vibe so eccentric is the influx of activities. There is truly something for all guests to do. You can make a trip to the silent disco, club, or spa or spend the day running around the festival to catch every artist or culinary show possible!

The atmosphere, when in comparison to competing festivals, is so unique and well-accomplished. BottleRock focuses on all aspects of what a festival should be. The glitz and glam are there, the photographable spots are ever-present, and there is music blaring in all directions — but what makes this festival its own is the strong influence of culinary and distillery talent, entertainment, and meals.

Williams Sonoma Culinary StageWilliams Sonoma Culinary Stage at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Throughout your stay, you'll get to try many beloved restaurants, bakeries, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, and desserts from acclaimed chefs, bakers, and mixologists. Additionally, there is a culinary stage that often pairs famous chefs with celebrities, athletes, or performing artists, to teach, cook, compete, and party at the festival!

Personally, I have covered the festival since 2018 and have enjoyed every minute of watching it grow. This year's highlights include getting to review and photograph so many new and returning BottleRock alums! Keep reading to learn more about the artists I covered, the food and drinks I tried, and what you should do if you plan on going to BottleRock 2024.

Lauren Hernandez at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez at BottleRock 2023Rob Hernandez

First, let's talk about Napa!

Talk about your perfect excuse to travel or go to the city of Napa for the first time!

The festival is located in Downtown Napa, where you have access to all the stores and restaurants and are surrounded by countless wineries. Before, during, or after the festival, you can easily try a few restaurants or wineries, shop at a few stores for a festival outfit, or travel to the many nearby cities such as San Francisco or Sacramento.

A few of my downtown favorites are Ben & Jerry's, Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ, C Casa, and Boho Lifestyle.

What should you bring?

Remember, the festival is at the end of May, which means summer is approaching! Expect to dress for warm weather, but make sure to bring a jacket since the festival is an all-day event.

Before making your list make sure to check the Info Tab on BottleRock's website for things prohibited inside the festival. Otherwise, here are a few items I recommend bringing: Sunscreen, Clear Bags, a Hat, Chargers and Portable Chargers, Refillable Water Bottles, a Jacket, a Blanket, Non-Professional Cameras, Glitter, and make sure you download the BottleRock app for access to the schedule, map, and more — you'll thank me later!

Now let's talk about this year's festival!

Lauren Hernandez at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez at BottleRock 2023Rob Hernandez

Day 1

On Friday, I got to the festival around noon and made my rounds to the media room. After getting settled, I had a full day of music and food ahead of me.

Ketel OneKetel One at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

First, I walked around the festival and looked at the artist and BottleRock merch located near the Allianz Stage. After purchasing a few items, I had an amazing meal at the Bounty Hunter Smokin' BBQ truck. Our meal was so good we had it both days at the festival. Additionally, we paired our meal with a drink from the Ketel One Vodka tent. At Bounty Hunter Smokin' BBQ truck, I tried the pulled pork sandwich and loaded fries. At the Ketel One Vodka tent, I tried a California citrus sour.

Ketel One Ketel One at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

After trying the amazing food and drinks, I started the day by seeing The Airborne Toxic Event at the Verizon Stage. The band put on an incredible performance in front of an already large-sized crowd! "Changing" was my favorite song to hear live during their set!

The Airborne Toxic EventMikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event smiling during his set at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Following this act, I went to cover Bastille at the JaM Cellars Stage, which I later saw cooking with Brooklyn Peltz Beckham and Aarón Sánchez at the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage. By the time of their performance, the crowd was packed and ready for Bastille at the JaM Cellars Stage, which later translated to the Culinary Stage.

BastilleBastille at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

BastilleBastille at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

BastilleBastille at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Brooklyn Peltz Beckham Brooklyn Peltz Beckham at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

BastilleBastille at the Williams Sonoma Culinary StageLauren Hernandez

Later I returned to the Culinary Stage to watch the taste-off between Claire and George Kittle vs. The Bella Twins, hosted by Adam Richman and Belle English. George and Claire took home the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage belt in their victory over The Bella Twins. Both parties had a great and friendly time on stage. Both, additionally, enjoyed the rest of the festival throughout the weekend. Hope to see them again next year! *More Photos Here.

Claire and George Kittle Claire and George Kittle at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Claire KittleClaire Kittle at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

George KittleGeorge Kittle at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

The Bella TwinsThe Bella Twins at the Williams Sonoma Culinary StageLauren Hernandez

Next, I covered The Smashing Pumpkins at the Verizon Stage. After photographing the live performance, I stayed and watched the band put on a rocking performance to finish the night. The Smashing Pumpkins were my favorite of the night and the crowd seemed to agree! My favorite songs during their set were "1979," "Cherub Rock," and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings."

*More Photos Here.

The Smashing PumpkinsBilly Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

The Smashing PumpkinsBilly Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins at BottleRock 2023Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Before leaving, I caught the last bit of War's set! Hearing everyone sing the tune of "Why Can't We Be Friends?"was a great way to end the night.

Day 2

Lauren Hernandez at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez at BottleRock 2023Rob Hernandez

Saturday was a jam-packed day of amazing tunes and food! We started off the day by seeing Lupe Fiasco at the Verizon Stage.

Lupe set the tone for our highly anticipated day. His performance was electric as he mixed in new and old songs along with a lot of crowd interaction. Everyone in the audience was very hyped to see the Chicago-based rapper. My personal favorites were "The Show Goes On." *More Photos Here.

Lupe FiascoLupe Fiasco at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Lupe Fiasco at BottleRock 2023Lupe Fiasco at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

iPhone photo of Nile Rodgers of Chic at BottleRock 2023iPhone photo of Nile Rodgers of Chic at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Next up, we saw Nile Rodgers & Chic at JaM Cellars Stage! The crowd at the JaM Cellars Stage was huge and growing by the minute as people were dancing to the funky tunes of Chic.

I enjoyed hearing classic Chic tunes and many others that Nile Rodgers played a part in making including songs from Madonna, David Bowie, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, and Diana Ross among many others! Rodgers was all smiles throughout his performance with his very talented band! My favorite song of the set was "Good Times."

Later, we enjoyed one of my most anticipated sets of the night — Dayglow, who performed at the Verizon Stage. Frontman Sloan Struble and his band played a set full of covers and new/old Dayglow songs. The band also had a unique welcoming to the stage as Keanu Reeves and his band, Dogstar, graced the stage prior to their performance.

Dayglow has the perfect energy to light up a festival crowd! Some of my personal favorites were "Can I Call You Tonight?" "Hot Rod," and "Listerine." *More Photos Here.

Dayglow Dayglow at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Dayglow at BottleRock 2023Dayglow at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Dayglow at BottleRock 2023Dayglow at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Crowd shot of Leon Bridges audience at BottleRock 2023Crowd shot of Leon Bridges audience at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Later in the day, following Dayglow's performance, I made my way back to the JaM Cellars Stage to see Leon Bridges. Leon Bridges is an artist I have personally always wanted to see and who has been to Napa a few times.

During the sunniest part of the day at the JaM Cellars Stage, a packed crowd thoroughly enjoyed a sometimes mellow and other times upbeat show. Leon Bridges has a stellar band and an amazing voice! I thoroughly enjoyed his performance and loved his stage presence/outfit! My favorite songs were "Motorbike," "Coming Home," and "Texas Sun."

After Leon Bridges, I ran to the Allianz Stage to catch Thee Sacred Souls. Thee Sacred Souls are a band I was ecstatic about BottleRock adding last minute. The breakout San Diego trio carried their audience and had an amazing duo alongside them to sing backing vocals. The singer had some of the best vocals and stage presence of the night! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing "Will I See You Again?"

Thee Sacred Souls Thee Sacred Souls at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

 Thee Sacred Souls at BottleRock 2023 Thee Sacred Souls at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

 Thee Sacred Souls at BottleRock 2023 Thee Sacred Souls at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

For the last performance at the JaM Cellars Stage, I and many other eager fans and photographers made their way to see Lizzo's set. Lizzo rocked her set and made sure to have exceptional lights, outfits, makeup, dancing, and a positive message. It truly is impossible to not have a blast at a Lizzo show!

I loved getting to hear "About Damn Time" and "2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)." In conclusion, Lizzo is the perfect festival act as she knows how to put on a good show and leave the audience raving about her! *More Photos Here.

Lizzo at BottleRock 2023Lizzo at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Lizzo at BottleRock 2023Lizzo at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Lizzo at BottleRock 2023Lizzo at BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Lastly, to end the night I saw Duran Duran at Verizon Stage! I didn't think I would make their set due to being at the JaM Cellars Stage to take photos of Lizzo's set, but when leaving the photo pit I walked by the Verizon Stage and was ecstatic to hear the tune of "Hungry Like The Wolf." I stayed for the majority of the set and got to see Duran Duran kill their performance. I made sure to get a shirt before leaving! Another favorite of mine from their performance was "Ordinary World."

Duran Duran BottleRock 2023Duran Duran BottleRock 2023Lauren Hernandez

Another great year at BottleRock 2023, and we cannot wait to go back next year! Stay tuned for the 2024 lineup and head over to BottleRock's website for ticket and event info.

Need more reasons to get excited for next year? Check out my crowd footage here and previous coverage here: 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022.

Otherwise, see you next year!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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