NAPA, California – Downtown Napa echoed to the sound of rock music on Friday night as BottleRock reappeared.
The pandemic-delayed festival has opened up to pent-up demand and new COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s awesome, we’re so excited to go out, have fun and hear all of these hot bands,” said fans Jamie Glover and Sherly Vallot, on their way to the evening line-up.
Spectators must show proof of vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 test, dated within 3 days.
“I got up here and didn’t realize I was going to need a vaccination and all that stuff,” said Oakley’s Steven Woodcock, who arrived with a ticket but nothing. other.
To prevent fans from being left out, a 15-minute quick test is offered for $ 89 outside the doors of Napa Expo.
“I go to this gig every year and the last year has been a disappointment to cancel it,” said Woodcock, after putting a long tampon in his nostrils and handing it to a technician.
“I wanted to come up here and see it and I realized we had to do these tests.”
He got in, but a few others didn’t, out of about 1,000 tests done on Friday.
“Maybe two or three people and the protocol is that we give them a mask, we ask them to leave and we explain to them that they have to speak to their doctor and to the people they came with,” said David Shor. , founder of World Back to Work, the testing company that contracts with various sites.
“At the bare minimum, making sure someone is vaccinated or has a recent test is about as effective as it gets in crowds of this size,” Shor said.
“The 3-day event is the largest in the Bay Area since the pandemic, with around 40,000 daily spectators roaming 5 stages.
Billed as a festival of music, wine, food and beer, BottleRock quickly sold out, but now offers passes available on its ticket exchange – the lowest price: $ 199 for general admission from ‘a day.
“BottleRock is always a big event for us, great crowds,” said Craig Smith, CEO of the Downtown Napa Association.
Hotels and restaurants are booked, shops and sidewalks are bustling, and the hospitality industry couldn’t be happier to see BottleRock return after its year-long hiatus.
“Well, there’s no question that last year was the toughest year we’ve ever had,” said Smith, “but now we’re about to have a better year than even 2019. . “
When the entertainment ends at 10 p.m. each night, crowds flood nightclubs and restaurants in Napa, but Smith notes that they mostly spend their days on the concert grounds.
“So if you’re a local and still want to come downtown and shop, or if you’re a visitor and want to come downtown, you can.”
Headliners include Guns and Roses and Foo Fighters.
Opening night encountered an issue with the late cancellation by country artist Chris Stapleton, who cited non-Covid illness.
Stapleton had replaced Stevie Nicks, who had dropped out earlier due to concerns about the increase in coronavirus cases.
In the end, the show continued – with “The Highwaywomen” on the main stage.
Fans took the adjustments in stride, thankful that the good times are back.
“I am impressed and proud of Napa, we did a good job,” said local fan Jason Elkin.
“We found a way to be safe and have fun at the same time.”