A San Francisco-based blog for which we have a high level of respect posted its analysis of the 2016 lineup for the BottleRock, a festival held in Napa Valley, California. The post was interesting and informative. We agreed with many of the statements.
Still, the blog post was a reminder that knowledgeable festival-goers have fundamentally different approaches to accessing the attractiveness of a particular festival. In reading the on-line analysis, the heavy emphasis was on the first five lines of artists in the poster (which is included above). The conclusion was not one that's likely to persuade music fans to purchase tickets. Still, to the credit of the writer, positives were also identified.
Our approach also starts with the top few lines of artists, since the natural attraction is toward larger print. We like what we see at the top of the BottleRock poster. But the combination of headliners and other featured bands is seldom (never?) the decision-maker for our festival selection. If every performance at a festival were as crowed and background noisy as a typical late performance, it would be difficult to get excited about any festival opportunity. In practice, the lower attendance levels in the early and mid afternoons enable viewing positions that make festival attendance worthwhile.
So, our approach is to quickly look at the first few lines and then spend a longer time accessing the lines with smaller print sizes. The BottleRock poster only includes three print sizes, which is below the norm. So, it was interesting to work upwardly from the bottom of the poster during the analysis.
After working through the artists who aren't featured, we had at least ten reasons to attend BottleRock 2016, so we bought our tickets. Here are the ten reasons (one band has two entries, so there are eleven songs):
Last week, X Ambassadors visited the Seth Meyers late night show. If you were thinking they were a one-hit-wonder band with "Renegades," pay attention to the piano and vocals in "Unsteady."
2015 was a strong year for anthems. The Moth and the Flame generated one of the better ones – “Young & Unafraid.” We saw the band as Rickshaw Stop and they were impressive.
The song “Trip Switch” is bringing well-deserved attention to Nothing But Thieves, but we’re posting “Graveyard Whistling,” since it’s one of our favorite songs of the last few years.
The Icelandic band Kaleo has two entries. "All the Pretty Girls"
“Way Down We Go” by Kaleo
“Somebody plug in the banjo, this one’s a hit.” “2 Heads” by Coleman Hell
A second anthem – “Could Have Been Me” by The Struts
“Never a Woman” by White Sea
“Got to My Head” by Waters - playful
“Whirring” by The Joy Formidable – at KEXP
“Sedona” by Houndmouth
Other "smaller print performances" we look forward to seeing at BottleRock:
Bird Dog - “The Ocean And The Sea”
San Fermin - "Sonsick
Greg Holden - "The Lost Boy"
Ivan & Alyosha - "Running for Cover"