The four-day festival brought big names like the Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Alabama Shakes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and others to the Napa County Fairgrounds last year much to the delight of music fans, both local and traveling from abroad. But it was more than just tinnitus left by the fest, with up to $10 million in debts owed to vendors, stagehands, cleanup crews, booking agents and many others totaling 174 debtors. It’s future was in doubt until now, with the announcement today of a new ownership group and new dates: May 30-June 1.
The festival director is Steve Macfadyen, who served most recently as entertainment director at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa near Palm Springs. The ownership group, called Latitude 38 Entertainment, confirmed that the event will be held again at the Napa Valley Expo, but will feature only three days of entertainment as opposed to last year’s five day bonanza.
“As new producers of Bottlerock, our vision is to keep the best-of-the-best from the 2013 festival-goer experience while taking this up another notch,” says David Graham of Latitude 38 Entertainment in a statement.
Over 40 acts are lined up for this year’s event, but the full list won’t be announced until next month. “Offers are out and we are getting a great deal of positive response,” says spokeswoman Tara Murphy.
The founders of the festival, Bob Vogt and Gabe Meyers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning for their company, BR Festivals. According to documents from the court, the company has between $1 million and $10 million in liabilities and assets between $500,000 and $1 million.
The festival will be held once again at the Napa Valley Fairgrounds, a venue some thought was too small for such an event. Parking was also an issue, with several complaints from attendees about the unorganized shuttle service from a construction site over a mile away. “[Festival producers] have been meeting with the city and are addressing some of those past concerns in certain areas and the shuttles are one of them,” says Murphy.
Tickets for the 2014 event went on sale immediately after last year’s event, without so much as one act announced at the time. The date have changed since those original tickets went on sale, and those will be honored at this year’s event or refunded. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in March.
Latitude 38 Entertainment is owned, operated and managed by Napa Valley-based entrepreneurs David Graham, Justin Dragoo, Jason Scoggins and Joe Fischer.