Best of the Fest

Things we saw at BottleRock

Perry Farrell, shitfaced and horny, hitting on girls in the front row. Huge clouds of dust swirling above the pit during Bad Religion. A bleach-blonde from Lake County in non-ironic mom jeans boot-scootin’ to Dwight Yoakam.

Baby boomers packed like sardines singing “Take It Easy” with Jackson Browne. Patrick Carney from the Black Keys Instagramming a photo with Guy Fieri. John Popper from Blues Traveler on a golf cart, blowing kisses to nobody who cared. Levi Leipheimer watching Primus. A dominatrix in a rubber dress signing people up for a sex-toy raffle.

Trash cans overflowing hourly. Planter boxes of fresh herbs on tables inside the Whole Foods artisan food court. A framed portrait of chef Morimoto. No actual chef Morimoto.

Drunk guy on Third Street offering $20 to ride your bike. Drunk woman passed out and shuttled to the medical tent. Drunk guy giving away free fourth beer because he can only hold three at a time. Drunk fans chanting shuttle driver’s name when he gives everyone free water for being 30 minutes late. Nighttime sign at wine-pouch booth: “You Drank It All!”

Couple sucking face for five minutes during Wyatt Cenac’s comedy set. Couple waltzing, finishing with a dip to Iron & Wine. Couple fighting near the local band stage, girl yelling, “You’re a fucking liar!” and dropping pulled-pork sandwich into the dirt. Guy picking up pulled-pork sandwich and eating it.

Festival cofounder Gabe Meyers in front of the Black Keys stage, motioning to the band, “How about that?!” Festival cofounder Bob Vogt, watching Macklemore, plotting to increase staff at ID checks. Cop telling girl in line for free water, “Just get some water from the spigot over there.” Different cop chewing out same girl for using the spigot. Spigot removed the next day. Lots of mud where spigot once was.

Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips, cuddling a baby doll connected to huge laser umbilical cords. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, trading licks, creating eerie ambiance. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros leading a new Jim Jones–type revival. Only 26 people waiting to see Sharon Van Etten at 1pm. The Shins trying to follow Alabama Shakes. Macklemore telling everybody: “There’s nothing wrong with Playstation and jacking off.”

Parking on Juarez Street, sign says: “$40.” Next day, sign changed: “$50.” Residents selling sodas, water, hot dogs. Residents on the porch, passing around a 40-ounce. Tourists calling neighborhood “crackhouses.” Oxbow nearly empty at 3pm. First Street a ghost town at 10pm. Crowds waiting for shuttles. Napa Pipe looking like the apocalypse.

Music wafting to be heard miles away. Cleanup crews working overtime. Tickets already on sale for next year.