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BottleRock enters the Latin Music scene in Napa

Created by three Napa natives, Dave Graham, Justin Dragoo and Jason Scoggins of Latitude 38 Entertainment, the longtime producers of BottleRock, have announced the inaugural Latin music festival, La Onda, slated for June 1 and 2 next year.

Grammy award-winning Mexican singer Alejandro Fernandez is a headliner for La Onda, the line-up for which spans multiple genres.

La Onda: a Q&A

Created by three Napa natives, Dave Graham, Justin Dragoo and Jason Scoggins of Latitude 38 Entertainment, the longtime producers of BottleRock, have announced the inaugural Latin music festival, La Onda, slated for June 1 and 2 next year.

La Onda Festival, backed by Live Nation, will include multi-genre and multi-generational acts, taking place at the Napa Valley Expo a week after BottleRock, which draws close to 40,000 people a day to its annual music festival.

Pop-rock band Maná, known for its hit “Oye mi Amor,” will headline La Onda alongside Grammy award-winning Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández – two acts who also headlined the “Besame Mucho” Latin festival in Los Angeles earlier this month.

The Mexican regional band from San Bernardino, Fuerza Regida whose song “Ridicamos en South Central” got the group signed to two labels, and Junior H, a rising act in the corridos tumbados genre, are topping off the headlining acts for the festival. Junior H is regarded as representing both the current and future generations of Mexican music. Also on the lineup are Eslabon Armando, Danna Paola, Farruko, Yahritza y Su Esencia, La Arrolladora Banda El Limón among others.

Junior H, a rising act in the corridos tumbados genre, is regarded as representing both the current and future generations of Mexican music.

Latin music revenue exceeded $1 billion for the first time last year, out-earning the broader music industry. With the increasing demand in Latin music comes a renaissance for Latin festivals but at a much larger scale. In Napa, last September Will and Julissa Marcencia, owners of KVON and KVYN which include Spanish-language broadcasting, put on their first-ever Latin music festival Sabor + Ritmo, which drew in close to 7,000 fans. Besame Mucho organizers have also announced they will be doing a version of the Latin Los Angeles festival in Texas where there is also a prominent Latino population.

In an interview with Napa Life Extra, BottleRock CEO Dave Graham discussed how the concept of La Onda flourished at a Bad Bunny concert and what festivalgoers can expect from the newest festival in NorCal.

Mariela Gomez: “Over the past 10 years or so that you and your partners have been putting on BottleRock, when did the pivotal “Aha” moment occur that led to the creation of La Onda?"

Dave Graham: Justin Dragoo and I attended a Bad Bunny concert in Oakland last year, and the promoter for Bad Bunny was also there. During the concert, two things happened. First, we shared our idea to organize a Latino festival, making him (Bad Bunny’s promoter) the first person outside our trio to know about our next potential venture. Making that statement outside of our partnership made things a bit more real and made us suddenly a bit nervous too. We were, in a sense, now publicly committed to doing this. But then we walked around the sold-out stadium floor, and saw happy fans jamming out to the music and enjoying the food and drinks. We thought: "This is our crowd.” We saw a fanbase of who we thought were “BottleRockers,” or people who would want to be “BottleRockers,” but more importantly, we felt like everyone who was in attendance deserved a Latino festival dedicated to Latinos, and that is what we are doing. At that point we were more excited than nervous.

Mariela Gomez: "What was the thought process behind putting together the inaugural La Onda lineup?"

Dave Graham: It was a similar thought process to how we book BottleRock but curated for Latinos. Our aim was to make it a multi-generational lineup, where fathers and sons and mothers and daughters could attend to enjoy the festival together. In a theoretical world, if my son and I were going together, I would go see Maná and he would go see Fuerza Regida. Then, we would come together to see each of those acts. It’s exciting; we will feature artists from a range of genres, including regional Mexican, Latin pop, Spanish rock, reggaetón, banda, mariachi, rap, norteño, cumbia, and bolero.

Mexican rock band Maná is one headliner for the new La Onda Latin music festival taking place in Napa in 2024.

Mariela Gomez: "What is the reason behind choosing Napa for La Onda?"

Dave Graham: We wanted to be about something. The festival is a Latin festival for Latinos. But when you look at the population in Napa, 41% is Latino and if you unpack that, the vast majority of that population is Mexican. We wanted to bring something to NorCal to cater to this community. Anecdotally, for 10 years at BottleRock all of our Latino friends would say, “That was great but can we have more artists like Juanes? How about 10 or like 20?” Of course, BottleRock is what it is, so we said “Hey, let’s meet this customer need.” We are doing this with a focus on a lot of Mexican artists at the intersection of Mexican regional, rock, cumbia, mariachi and other genres.

Mariela Gomez: "Why did the team decide to name the festival “La Onda?"

Dave Graham: Of course, it’s a word that almost everyone who speaks Spanish knows but it has different meanings. There is so much pride in the word when it’s used in a variety of different ways whether it be “Que onda?” for a greeting, or “la onda,” referencing “a good vibe,” which is how we are using it. We feel like everyone can give it its own meaning.

Mariela Gomez: "The prices are affordable for a two-day festival, was that intentional?"

Dave Graham: Yes. We are doing everything we can to keep the prices affordable and reasonable. By having La Onda the weekend after BottleRock, we are able to take advantage of the infrastructure. We are not holding back on the level of experience that will be provided. Put it this way: You will get a VIP experience without the VIP ticket. Our BottleRock customers know our level of execution and fans can expect that at La Onda; it’s part of our brand and who we are. We want as many people as possible to come and experience La Onda. I also want to add, that we did not want to come into this thinking “we know what Latinos want.” That is why we hired a Mexican PR firm and have a Mexican creative team. It’s time. Northern California Latinos need a festival to call their own, a festival of this size, artists like we have. They deserve it and we are doing it.

La Onda will also feature a dance club, silent disco and a spa for those looking to unwind Napa style.

Fans can expect local and regional Latin cuisine. A separate announcement from La Onda will be released with more insight into the comida menu and we will update you on everything you need to know.

General admission tickets begin at $169. Weekend and single-day festival tickets are on sale at LaOndaFest.com.

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