Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

BottleRock bounces back from financial brink for second installment

By
From page B1 | May 30, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — When Napa-born businessman Dave Graham watched The Black Keys at last year’s inaugural BottleRock Napa Valley festival, he had no idea that, one year later, he would run the show.

In fact, without Graham and his business partners – Justin Dragoo, Jason Scoggins and Joe Fischer, who comprise Latitude 38 Entertainment – there would be no BottleRock festival this year.

The three-day music festival returns Friday to the Napa Valley Exposition with English alternative rockers The Cure, reunited Atlanta hip-hop duo OutKast and North Carolina country singer Eric Church headlining a roster of more than 60 performers.

During the past year, the festival’s future fell into question after months of financial fallout. Debt for BR Festivals Inc., which produced the 2013 installment, ballooned to more than $9 million to various creditors, including the city of Napa, stagehands, vendors and more, according to bankruptcy court documents filed in February.

While concert industry powerhouses such as AEG Live, Live Nation and Another Planet Entertainment expressed varying degrees of interest in taking over, as deadlines loomed to make a 2014 installment possible, Graham and his cohorts came into the picture.

The quartet formed Latitude 38, named after one of Napa’s axis coordinates. The Napans took over the festival with a combination of cash and converting BR Festivals’ debt into equity, eliminating $4.3 million in dues while taking over the name and other assets, said Graham, Latitude 38’s CEO.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Graham said. “Most people thought we couldn’t pull it off given the baggage.”

Graham, whose business experience includes building startups, said Latitude 38 made three promises to officials who run the Napa Expo, host site for the festival, as well as to the community: Help to eliminate the debt, retain a Napa spirit and commit to a 2014 installment.

The final promise, Graham said, is what distinguished Latitude 38 from other proposals, many of which he said looked to postpone a second event until 2015, after bankruptcy proceedings ended.

“No one was willing to take on that obligation,” Graham said. “People don’t realize that the festival wasn’t going to happen in 2014 unless we stepped up and did it. The festival wasn’t going to happen this year. . . . a lot of the interested parties didn’t want to deal with the debt situation. We were the only ones willing to stand up and make a bad situation less bad.”

Doing so presented Graham and his cohorts with the challenge of untangling the financial knots of the 2013 festival while simultaneously raising funds, building a team and preparing for the realities of this weekend’s installment.

“We realized really quickly that everything was going to need to be done in parallel,” Graham said. “It has been seven days a week since November.”

With the deal finalized in January, Latitude 38 had just more than 40 days to pull together a lineup. Joining The Cure, OutKast and Eric Church are artists such as Weezer, TV on the Radio, LL Cool J, The Fray and Heart.

Booking artists proved complicated due to the small time frame as well as “radius clauses,” contractual stipulations that limit when and where artists already booked for other events can perform.

“This year was really difficult for us,” Graham said. “The industry doesn’t know us. They don’t trust us. All they know is BottleRock owes people money.”

Part of the process involved going to creditors owed money from last year’s promoters and convincing them to continue doing business with the BottleRock brand.

“We did feel bad about what happened,” Graham said. “In the beginning, it took two to six conversations for it to understandably compute.”

Eventually, Graham said, many of them came around. He remains hopeful this year’s event can restore faith in the BottleRock name, but said he thinks many concertgoers will attend this year’s festival unaware of the financial drama.

“We knew there was possibility for the brand and we knew there was a possibility to pull this thing off,” he said. “We do have a vision for the future. We’re not paying attention to that vision until we pull this off. On June 2, we’ll start talking about that.”

For more information on tickets, a complete lineup, hotel reservations and more, visit BottleRockNapaValley.com.

To read more of Nick DeCicco’s blogs, visit http://dailyrepublic.typepad.com/forthoseabouttorock. Follow him on Twitter @ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Price will seek re-election as Fairfield mayor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

 
Why ‘compassionate conservatism’ is still dead

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9