BottleRock Napa Valley
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Napa Valley Expo
Better Worse than: Any other experience I've had exiting a large concert or a festival, including those where you board buses to leave.
First came the high of Saturday at BottleRock Napa Valley: For 90 minutes, the Atlanta hip-hop duo OutKast toured an elated crowd through hits from its long career, playing songs like “B.O.B.,” “Gasoline,” “GhettoMusick,” and, of course, “Hey Ya.” It was the duo's only Northern California stop so far on this year's much-anticipated reunion tour, and it was fantastic — even if OutKast didn't fill up the two-hour time slot it was allotted.
Then came the low: As the main stage cleared out from the headliners' set, the throngs of people added to a river of humanity running through the main lane of the festival grounds. Ostensibly, this wall of people formed a line to board buses to get to the parking lots, which were four miles away on the southern edge of town. But the situation was utterly unorganized. There were no helpful signs. No one seemed to know what they were doing. And as more and more surveyed what looked like a hopeless, serpentine queue — and as the highs from the music and the beer and the wine wore off — the mood turned dark, and the crowd turned nasty.