The Freshest Styles We Saw at BottleRock This Year
Last week the Bottlerock music festival returned to the Bay Area in downtown Napa for its tenth consecutive year. Gloriously, City Style for Broke-Ass Stuart was there for the first time ever to capture all the best dressed festival goers.
The San Francisco Bay Area hosts a slew of different music festivals, from internationally known Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, to the “grown up” rave that Portola Music Festival (win tix right here) touts itself to be – not to mention Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which is absolutely free of charge for all attendees. Bottlerock is held in the heart of downtown Napa and is, as the name suggests, an experience revolving around the central theme of food and wine.
It seems like cowboy boots and western style hats still prevailed this year, as two of the most recurring trends spotted throughout the three days were boots and hats in all different styles, colors, and fabrics.
Here’s how to plan your next Bottlerock Festival trip with City Style:
Cover Your Arms!
The folks pictured in the two pictures directly above myself are perfect examples of how to do this festival right in terms of outfit selection. It’s very important to not have bare arms all day because even though it’s only “hot-hot” for a couple hours, the direct sunlight assures a sunburn whether you’re sweating or not. It’s highly advised to wear something to cover your arms below the shoulders, even if it’s a garment that’s light, loose, or sheer.
Cover Your Legs!
Temperatures tend to fluctuate somewhat severely after dark in the wine country and it really helps to have on some sort of pants, long skirt, knee high boots or tall socks to offset the change in weather from day to night. Also, the terrain is on varied turfs, switching up from grass to redwood chips, concrete, dirt, etc. You never know when you’ll want or need to sit down, or when it’s really crowded, where you’ll even be able to sit down. Additionally, when you’re standing in a tight concert crowd it’s never pleasant to feel someone’s beer splash on your bare calf, or even worse, down your shoe.
Wear a Hat That Goes All the Way Around Your Head
Wearing a hat to a festival is a no-brainer for both practical and stylish reasons but it’s important to wear the right sort of hat whilst in direct sunlight all day long. Wearing a ball cap, visor, beanie, or other topper alone will not protect your face, neck, ears, and shoulders with a three hundred and sixty degree radius. And let’s be real, nobody wants a red neck as a souvenir at the end of a festival.
Bring a Light Jacket That Doubles As Something to Sit On
You’re allowed to bring picnic blankets, towels, and other items to spread out and sit on at Bottlerock Festival, but by bringing along a flannel, bomber, Pendleton, faux fur/leather, or denim jacket that can easily tie around the waist or drape over the shoulders, one is assured the dual bonus of something to sit on in a pinch. By placing the lining side on the ground and sitting on the outer part of the jacket, any accidental stains, moisture from the ground, or spills will never see the light of day.
Avoid Wearing Brand New Shoes
As mentioned earlier, the fairgrounds are on pretty even terrain – but that’s once you actually get there. Bottlerock is really more of a “Disneyland” sort of day in terms of parking and walking (also cost) so it’s not the day to break in your brand new, out of the box shoes, regardless of the aesthetic you’re trying to pull off. However, you can pull off more styles than at a fest like Outside Lands, for example, because you’re not literally hiking back and forth up and down dusty dirt hills all day each day. I would not recommend wearing platforms, sandals/open toed shoes, heels, creepers, loafers, mules, or anything you wouldn’t work a catering shift in as a server. IYKYK.
Bonus: Rent a Locker
This is suggested with the caveat that you book early because they’re (surprise!) expensive and sell out quickly, so it’s also suggested to share with friends. The lockers at Bottlerock have the bonus of a cell phone charging station inside, and by moving this way you won’t have to worry about carrying around your oversized sunglasses or that jacket you’re not currently wearing.
A locker can also stash leggings, a change of shoes, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen, any merch you might buy, heck even the poutine you didn’t finish but still might get around to eating on the walk back to the car. Much like with carpooling, gas, parking lots, lodging, etc, splitting the fees on a locker is a very smart move if you don’t want to be a schlep-a-saurus-rex all festival long.
Neon tinsel wigs and nipple pasties it is not… but isn’t that ok? Conversely, if the one time of year I personally go “out of the box” and wear a cowboy hat is for this festival then well, I’m ok with that too. So until I saddle up to ride again at Bottlerock Napa Valley 2024, I must remind you all without hesitation that life is short, so wear what you want.
Life is so short, wear what you want.