Festive days ahead

The new BottleRock Fest kicked off Nor Cal’s season of summer music fests

Bad Religion fan at BottleRock. photos online.

Bad Religion fan at BottleRock. photos online.

Photo by Alan Sheckter

More photos from BottleRock by Alan Sheckter.

The mantra of “build a festival and they will come” rang true earlier this month (May 9-12) as the inaugural, five-day BottleRock Napa Valley music festival ignited the North State’s festival season by drawing up to 35,000 spectators a day to the Napa Valley Expo Fairgrounds. Anchored by a monster 70-foot-high main stage, the fest’s promoters held nothing back, offering a full-tilt extravaganza of music, food, wine, comedy and beer.

Music was at the top of most people’s agendas, and the roster was eclectic and rich with bands young and old: The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, The Flaming Lips, Charlie Musselwhite, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, to name a few. And with so many major artists from multiple genres, strolling the grounds was a surreal experience at times as acts like Jackson Browne and Jane’s Addiction would be playing at the same time on different stages. At one point, Richard Thompson, a 45-year member of British-rock royalty, spoke eloquently in the media tent about his days with Fairport Convention but paused as, several yards away, Joan Jett took the stage and amplified one of her old hits, belting out “I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation!”

The vibe was kind of an upscale tailgate party, with party dudes harmoniously sharing festival territory with trendy hipsters and chic fashionistas. The two major stages projected crystal-clear, über-powerful audio, augmented by big-screen video.

But what made this fest decidedly Napa were the gourmet-food offerings from top local purveyors, and a staggering 42 wineries on hand. A sectioned-off food market included everything from wood-fired pizza and halibut ceviche, to pork-belly tacos and barbecued oysters.

First-year wrinkles? There were a few minor logistical glitches. But that aside, the North State’s answer to Coachella kicked off the summer’s festival season in grand fashion. And here’s what’s up next.

Reggae in the Hills

June 7-9, Calaveras County Fairgrounds, Angels Camp

Featuring: Steel Pulse, Capleton, Inner Circle, Anuhea, Mystic Roots, more. Tickets: $45-$120 (one-three days), $150 (three days with camping). Info: www.reggaeinthehills.com

Huichica Music Festival

June 14-15, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma

Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard

photo by alan sheckter

Featuring: Blitzen Trapper, Fruit Bats, Jonathan Wilson, Damien Jurado, more. Tickets $18 (Friday), $40 (Saturday), $50 (two-day). Info: www.huichicamusicfestival.com

The Bounce Festival

June 20-24, Highway 70, Twain

Featuring: Beats Antique, Griz, Boombox, Justin Martin, more. Tickets: $160 (three days with camping), $50 (to add fourth day). Info: www.thebouncefestival.com

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

June 21-23, Mendocino County Fair, Boonville

Featuring Damian and Stephen Marley, Soja, Alpha Blondy, Marcia Griffiths, Groundation, more. Tickets: $60-$75 (one day), $170 (3 days). Info: www.snwmf.com

Wild Mountain Faire

June 28-30, 12967 Concow Road, Concow

Featuring: Jellybread, SambaDá, Watertruck, Delhi 2 Dublin, Dylan’s Dharma, Alli Battaglia and the Musical Brewing Company. Tickets: $30 (one day) to $65 (three days with camping). Info: www.wildmountainfaire.com

Kate Wolf Music Festival

Jackson Browne

Photo by Alan Sheckter

June 28-30, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville

Featuring: John Prine, Angelique Kidjo, Dave Alvin, Iris DeMent, Elephant Revival, more. Tickets: $190 (three days). Info: www.katewolfmusicfestival.com

High Sierra Music Festival

July 4-7, Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds, Quincy

Featuring: Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, Primus, Thievery Corporation, moe., more. Tickets: $75-$85 (one day) to $205 (four days with camping). Info: www.highsierramusic.com

California WorldFest

July 12-15, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

Featuring: Pink Martini, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Bruce Cockburn, Delhi 2 Dublin, Vieux Farka Toure, more. Tickets: $55 (one day) to $170 (four days with camping). Info: www.worldfest.net

Guitarfish Music Festival

July 26-28, Cisco Grove Campground, Cisco Grove

Featuring: Lyrics Born, Orgône, Jazz Mafia, SambaDá, New Monsoon, more. Tickets: $75 (one day) to $155 (three days with camping). Info: www.guitarfishfestival.com

A hooper ready to twirl.

Photo by Alan Sheckter

Reggae on the River

Aug. 1-4, French’s Camp, Piercy

Featuring: Julian Marley and the Uprising Band, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Anthony B, more. Tickets: $190 (3 days with camping) to $250 (four days with camping). Info: www.reggaeontheriver.com

Outside Lands

Aug. 9-11, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Featuring: Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, more. Tickets: $249.50 (three days). Info: www.sfoutsidelands.com

Strawberry Music Festival

Aug. 29-Sept. 2, Camp Mather, Groveland (just outside Yosemite National Park)

Featuring: The Del McCoury Band, Peter Rowan and the Big Twang Theory, The California Honeydrops, more. Tickets: $65 (one day) to $200 (four days with camping). Info: www.strawberrymusic.com

Chico World Music Festival

Sept. 13-14: Chico State, Chico

Featuring: Jake Shima-bukuro on Friday performance (prices TBA), plus a full day of free performances on Saturday (performers TBA). Info: www.chicoperformances.com