The top live entertainment events in one of the most idyllic settings for outdoor concerts
While the Napa Valley is best known for its stunning vineyards and delicious wines, this area of Northern California is brimming with so much more. From luxurious resorts to unique cultural events, Napa offers both visitors and residents endless opportunities for rest, relaxation, and fun that all combine to make it one of the most desirable destinations in California and the country.
Napa is a beautiful place to spend time outside, and with a temperate climate and stunning surroundings, it is also the ideal venue for outdoor concerts. Late spring through early autumn, Napa Valley plays host to a number of music events and festivals that provide the community with opportunities to enjoy live music as well as the great outdoors at gorgeous venues throughout the Valley. With something for every musical taste at every scale, from global festivals to local summer concert series, these music events can’t be missed.
One of Napa’s most well-known music festivals is BottleRock, an annual three-day event filled with music, food, wine, and more in the heart of Napa. Since 2013, BottleRock has brought together the community of Napa, Californians from all over the state, and music and wine lovers from all over the country to kick off summer and celebrate what makes Napa so unique. The inaugural festival was a five-day gathering with three stages featuring over 60 bands, endless tasting opportunities showcasing wines from 40 local wineries, and was attended by over 120,000 people. It was Napa’s first large-scale festival and truly set the precedent for years to come.
Ever since, BottleRock has been known as Napa’s signature event and one of the country’s premier music festivals, taking place every May and fusing world-class musicians with California’s best wines and one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. Over the years, BottleRock has played host to some of the country’s and world’s well-known and up-and-coming musical talent, from The Black Keys and Red Hot Chili Peppers to Pharrell Williams and Bruno Mars, representing a variety of genres and appealing to a wide range of tastes. BottleRock also boasts the largest silent discos in North America every night of the festival, where thousands of festival-goers gather to enjoy music from DJs alone but together.
In partnership with Williams Sonoma, the Culinary Stage features all-star celebrity and local chefs that bring the spirit and love of food to the festival in an entertaining way. As well, a number of Napa Valley vendors exhibit at the event, offering a range of cuisine for festival-goers to sample over the three-day experience. Complimenting the food are wines from some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious vineyards as well as the area’s up-and-coming wineries and craft beers from local and national breweries. Spirits lovers will also find themselves at home at BottleRock, with a Bourbon Bar and booths from Ketel One Vodka, Don Julio Tequila, Hendrick’s Gin, and more.
Rounding out this authentic Wine Country experience is the incorporation of art and creative installations throughout the festival grounds, including sculptures and live muraling that only enrich BottleRock further. For those looking for some pampering, BottleRock also offers spa amenities, where attendees can recharge with revitalizing foot and body massages, mini facials, hair styling and makeup, and hydration therapy.
Napa Valley Jazz Getaway
Those with a heart for jazz can’t miss the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, a four-day luxury wine and music festival hosted by renowned jazz artist Brian Culbertson. Over five days in June, an all-star ensemble of jazz and R&B musicians gather in one of the country’s richest cultural centers to share their talents with fellow music lovers. Kicking off mid-month, the festival starts on a Wednesday with a welcome dinner and jam session in the courtyard at the Westin Verasa, a 4-star hotel along the river in downtown Napa, hosted by Brian himself and featuring a multi-course meal prepared and served by Michelin-star chef Ken Frank of world-renowned Napa French restaurant, La Toque.
The days that follow are filled with wine, music, and food-infused events, including daily “Wine Down” tastings showcasing Napa’s finest wineries alongside live performances and guest artists, nightly concerts, and thrilling afterparties that take musicians and guests into the wee hours of the night with dancing, drinks, and DJs. Tickets are available at varying levels, from Diamond VIP to single-day, making it easy to enjoy the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway at any point and any scale throughout the long weekend.
Festival Napa Valley
Marking its 15th anniversary in 2020, Festival Napa Valley is a vibrant celebration of food, wine, music, and the Napa lifestyle that more than 200 wineries and vintners, restaurants and chefs, theaters and musicians participate in annually. In honor of its 15th year, the festival will span ten days and include a variety of programming, from patron dinners at vintner’s luncheons to the signature Taste of Napa event, showcasing the best of Napa’s dining, wines, and musicians, hosted at the stunning Italian villa-inspired Vista Collina Resort.
Presented in June, Festival Napa Valley creates an environment for artists and guests to mingle during daily lunches, dinners, and wine-tasting events hosted at local wineries, while all attendees gather nightly for live performances including ballet, glamorous opera under-the-stars evenings, and symphony orchestra concerts. Hosted by Napa Valley Festival Association, a non-profit dedicated to keeping kids engaged in school through creative programs, this event serves to enrich the creative and economic vitality of the region while making the arts accessible to all. Proceeds raised throughout the festival go towards funding arts education programs in local schools, including Arts for All summer camps made possible by the festival, and ongoing programming throughout the year.
With an elegant ambiance and elevated touch to every part of the festival, and a philanthropic mission, there couldn’t be a better way to support the local community while imbibing with friends, enjoying live music and dance performances, and savoring meals against the backdrop of some of Napa Valley’s most beautiful vineyards and wineries.
Kick off the festival season with Yountville Live, a four-day VIP extension of Napa’s popular “Taste of Yountville” food festival. Taking place every March, Yountville Live is a multi-day celebration of all of the food and wine that make Napa so unique alongside Grammy Award-winning musical artists. Unlike most festivals, Yountville Live is held on a small scale, offering guests exclusive access to world-class chefs, vintners, and musicians, who all contribute to creating an intimate experience unmatched by any other food, wine, and music event in Napa.
Tickets for the entire festival are available as well as single-day and event passes, offering full or à la carte access to different programming throughout the weekend. Popular among Napa’s foodie and music lovers, the VIP option includes all-access to Yountville Live’s events, as well as concierge service that makes special wine-tasting opportunities available as well as preferred seating at all events. Beyond the weekend VIP tickets, passes are available to standalone events throughout the weekend, including Welcome Galas on Thursday and Friday, followed by the larger Taste of Yountville festival on Saturday and Sunday, which features food and wine tastings at pavilions surrounded by a joyful atmosphere and live music.
After a festival hiatus during the winter, springtime in Napa makes for an idyllic backdrop for the season’s first event, and the exclusive yet relaxed nature of Yountville Live makes it the perfect event to slide into a busy summer of food, wine, and music-filled festivals.
Summer Concert Series
Throughout the summer, a number of Napa communities celebrate the arrival of even warmer and more favorable weather as well as the spirit of the season with weekly or monthly summer concert series, ongoing performances that feature a range of genres and talents across the Valley.
Kicking off in June are Summer Sundays at Goose & Gander, a weekly live music showcase held every Sunday through September in charming St. Helena, a Wine Country town between Yountville and Calistoga. Showcasing artists in a variety of categories, from rock and soul to blues and more, this weekly event is free to the public and hosted in the garden at popular St. Helena eatery and gathering place, Goose & Gander. Further south in downtown Napa, residents and visitors come out every Friday for Napa City Nights, a series of outdoor musical evenings that the whole family can enjoy. With terraced seating overlooking the river, the Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheater makes it the perfect place to soak up summer nights with live entertainment and a picnic from June through August.
Calistoga Concerts in the Park is another local favorite, putting on performances from mid-June through late-August in Pioneer Park in Calistoga. This series of free concerts brings together Napa’s love for culture and wine, allowing adult beverages for those of age and offering select local wines for purchase, with a new winery featured every week. For over 50 years, and now in partnership with BottleRock Presents, Margrit Mondavi Summer Concerts has been a go-to event for Napa locals. Hosted in late June and July on the sprawling grass terrace of Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, this event is a can’t-miss series that features headlining musical talent and ticket options for terrace and dinner seatings.