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Redwood Bark

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BottleRock and California Roots shine on the Memorial Day weekend stage

Congregating for the final show of the festival, fans crowd the venue to see Rebelution perform.

On May 24, 25 and 26, BottleRock and California Roots rocked the stages during Memorial Day weekend, delivering performances for all in attendance. The two festivals, located in Napa and Monterey, respectively, have very different vibes, but both share the same goal: for festivalgoers to have a good time all the time. 

BottleRock’s grounds lay in the heart of Napa Valley, allowing for a gorgeous festival layout and spacious grounds for music and relaxation. Not only does BottleRock include stellar lineups year after year, but the food venues are always top-notch. Friday performers Stevie Nicks and Megan Thee Stallion paved the way for the rest of the festival. The enormous venue allows attendees never to feel dull. 

BottleRock offers a diverse range of musical genres, ensuring there is something for everyone. The festival’s lineup caters to various musical tastes, from rock and pop to hip-hop and electronic music. In addition to the main stages, there are smaller, more intimate stages where emerging artists and local bands perform, providing a platform for new talent.

The festival, also known for its food options, features some of the best food and drink options from the Napa Valley region and beyond. Attendees can indulge in gourmet dishes prepared by renowned chefs. The Culinary Stage, a unique feature of BottleRock, showcases live cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs and musicians, blending food and music in an entertaining and interactive experience.

On the other hand, California Roots is a tighter, more compact festival ground. With just two stages, The Bowl and the Cali Roots Stage, seeing different artists was super easy and all sites were accessible. Whether you wanted to get close to the artists performing or sit down and watch from afar, the festival fit all. Additionally, there were free water bottle filling stations and bathrooms, a must at any festival. 

Ziggy Marley glances at the camera mid-performance Friday night. (Photo courtesy of California Roots Festival)

Cali Roots brought powerhouses in the reggae industry for the daily lineups. Friday featured Ziggy Marley, Bob Marley’s son, resulting in guests getting an authentic listening experience of true reggae. His stage presence and voice mimicked that of the great Bob Marley, resulting in a euphoric production. The next day saw more Marley, with Stephen and Damian claiming the main stage to rock the crowd with more upbeat, faster-tempo reggae. The duo performed together, combining their musical talents to create a memorable night. Finally, Ice Cube and Rebelution rounded out the last day. Ice Cube began the night with his most viral hits, hyping the crowd for the festival’s last night. A yearly tradition, Ice Cube couldn’t help but return for another incredible performance. 

Rebelution claimed the big lights to top the festival off, seamlessly combining their greatest hits into a complete two-hour set of pure joy. Formed in Santa Barbara in 2004, the band began playing at parties and formals after meeting at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Shortly after they released their first song, it went viral in Hawaii, leading to a tour for the band there. At that point, the plane was already flying away, and Rebelution quickly became the face of the California reggae genre. Throughout the weekend, chatter about Rebelution’s upcoming set filled the entire venue.

“Cali Roots is one of our favorites—I’m from here, so it’s like a hometown show. The festival is always over on my birthday, so I have an awesome time. It’s a birthday, a home show and a huge reggae festival, of which we are a huge part,” Rebelution’s drummer Wesley Finley told Gil Ladetzky. 

Both festivals showed why they are top-line in the music industry in their own way. From reggae to country, pop and indie, the Bay Area offers an extensive festival schedule for music lovers and festival-goers alike.

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About the Contributors
Gil Ladetzky
Gil Ladetzky, Podcast Editor
Gil Ladetzky is a senior at Redwood High School and the podcast editor for the bark. He loves playing basketball, going on adventure with friends, family dinners and Sol Food.
Will Parsons
Will Parsons, Video Editor
Will Parsons is a senior at Redwood and is a video editor for the Bark. He enjoys hanging out with friends, surfing and playing lacrosse in his free time.
Alex Argov
Alex Argov, Staff Photographer
Alex Argov is a senior at Redwood High School and is a staff photographer for the Redwood Bark. He enjoys basketball, surfing, listening to music and spending time with friends.