Last weekend’s BottleRock Napa Valley festival looks like an almost complete success.
Early reports are that more than 80,000 came to this year’s second installment of the Napa music, wine and food festival during its three days. Last year’s event was beleaguered by debt, topping $9 million, before Latitude 38 Entertainment took it over in January.
Latitude 38 CEO Dave Graham said earlier this week that 95 percent of this year’s vendors are already paid, including the stage hands who handled both years.
While the 2013 event operated with a small window to book performers – working in earnest for about 60 days with some preliminary work in the months preceding it – the Latitude 38 crew had just 40 days to put together this year’s lineup, which included British gothic rockers The Cure, Atlanta hip-hop legends OutKast and North Carolina country singer Eric Church.
That meant taking what they could get, which brought a number of bands whose biggest success came in the 1990s, such as Gin Blossoms, Third Eye Blind, Spin Doctors and Smash Mouth. It also opened the door for budding talent such as Denver hard rockers Dog Day King, Kentucky cello rocker Ben Sollee and Greece-based chillwave artists Keep Shelly in Athens.
While some were shocked to see the festival pull the plug on both The Cure and Heart to enforce a 10 p.m. noise curfew, the biggest knot for festival organizers to untangle is the shuttle debacle from the festival’s second and most-attended day. A throng of thousands created a bottleneck at BottleRock’s exits, leading some fans to wait more than an hour to get on a bus to get to their car in the Napa Pipe parking lot at the south end of the city, 3.5 miles away. Several concertgoers hoofed it rather than waiting.
However, logistical issues such as this are rosier problems for Latitude 38 than having to put salve on financial burns.
Graham and company have set their sights on a third installment for 2015. One wonders what BottleRock will look like when it is not besieged with financial burdens and given an entire year to book talent.
Signs thus far point to a bright future for a festival that as recently as six months ago looked like a one-and-done experience.
Back in ‘Black’
Today marks the return of Netflix’s original series “Orange Is the New Black,” a prison comedy/drama that dazzled audiences last summer thanks to the breakthrough performance of Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman.
The second season has an impressive bar to clear to match the first, especially considering one of its primary antagonists, Alex Vause, played by Laura Prepon, will appear in just four of this year’s 13 episodes.
Many are discussing how they will view it. After my single-day binge viewing of last year’s fourth season of “Arrested Development,” a word to the wise: Pace yourself. A season of television is a marathon, not a sprint and if the second season of “Orange Is the New Black” is anything like the first, it’s one to be savored and enjoyed slowly, not devoured in one weekend.
‘Fargo’ is good, too, ya?
FX’s “Fargo” has turned out to be one of the best surprises on the small screen this spring. While its cast is impressive – Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine – its secret weapon is Allison Tolman, a heretofore unknown Texan actress playing leading lady Molly Solverson.
Tolman is the series’ analog to the 1996 film of same name’s Margie Gunderson, the whip-smart detective who is putting the pieces together in the big case better than anyone.
The series would be a disaster without someone sympathetic at its core and that’s where Tolman comes in. Solverson is smart without being obnoxious and sweet without being a doormat. She’s made “Fargo” and Molly must-watch TV with only two episodes left.
To read more of Nick DeCicco’s blogs, visit http://dailyrepublic.typepad.com/forthoseabouttorock. Follow him on Twitter @ndeciccodr.