Kosha Dillz: ‘Why BottleRock is my favorite music festival’
I can’t speak for other people, artists and artist managers, but this show is the best festival I had performed at in years. When I thought about how they had a 98 percent vaccination rate and set the tone for perfect health in today’s crazy age alongside the enjoyment of my personal experience, I knew I had to write something down.
I got to open for Guns n Roses and even play right after Big Freedia for a nighttime show. If you think that is a crazy statement for any new festival act to say, read below to see my list of everything else there is to rave about at Bottlerock.
1. The food was mouth-watering – I’m not gonna lie to anyone. I assure you the wine is obviously better than everywhere, but I ate a macaroni cheese at the culinary stage next to Guy Fieri while everyone was surrounding him and I was more into the mac n cheese and the miniature iron cast pan! It was that good. I also got to catch a selfie with Roy Choi and tell him about my claim of being the “#1 Jewish rapper in Korea Town” after seeing him in action.
2. Top-notch communication – I played a festival where the most well-crafted emails were sent in my adult life (thx to Sarah at Jamcellars) and everything was where they said it was. I don’t know the last time that happened but it is something that should be noted that for the newer artists. We’d love that to always be the case in all music dealings. It always elevates the artist experience to be part of a tight-knit ship.
3. Sustainability and cleanliness – Bottleerock was the cleanest festival I had ever been to. I have been to many of them. I haven’t ever seen such good efficiency with cleanliness. My sneakers were barely even dirty after 3 days. Three was no trash anywhere. They recycled. The bottles were never in the trash area. In an ever-growing green world, BR was on it for that notch in the W section. I can’t remember the time I went to a “clean” fest. ( I love dirty fests btw..but now I can say I really love clean ones too!)
4. Parking – You can park extremely close to public parking or walking from town in 10 minutes. In other festivals, it could take a year and the parking lots could be destroyed by rain. This was quite easy for me. I didn’t actually have a parking pass (until I did) and showed the parking person I was performing. Poof! The parking spot appeared. This is key in preventing festival fatigue.
5. Content Team and Press – I haven’t seen such a great team since the days of Warped Tour. Even being one of the smallest artists there, I had just as much access to be documented efficiently. I was tweeted about by the official Bottlerock account multiple times. My photos were taken and videos were taken by photographers I just met (shout out Donny Evans.) I had just met within an hour of my show.. I was able to land myself in 5-6 press pieces as the opening act. It goes to show you they are all for building acts and not just focused on the largest of the large acts. If they were, I wouldn’t even blame them. But the way I felt from that all was very moving personally and also moving of “the needle” as they say.
6. The Most Diverse Booking – I gotta give up to Tom Hoppa for this one. Not many times in my career have I gone from rapping on stage before Guns n Roses and after Big Freediato hanging out with the Village People, schmoozing with G Eazy, jam band bonding with Turkuaz, and running over to see Run the Jewels play in the same two hours. Diversity is key. And to top it all off, Mondo Cozmo is my new favorite band and Molly Moore , Hoko, Baby Jake and Lily Meola are all crazy special shows that will get way more massive ini the upcoming year. Did I mention Avril Lavigne also made an appearance with Mod Sun for the first show of his sold-out tour right before Foo Fighters . 99 Neighbors and Warren G were a huge treat in the VIP section for me personally and Z Trip , Trackstar the DJ and DJ Logic removed all silence from a “silent disco.” Silent Discos are a huge asset to festivals I’m not gonna lie. It is the extra weird refresher we all need.
7. The Afterparties and festival moments -The Bluenote afterparties by Jam Cellars was something special with Hush Silent Disco in thee back yard (and Black Pumas main stage was perfect…tbh!) . There was also not a need to be at the “After parties” culture. I think that creates a greater vibe vs the thirst desire to be at a festival after-party. That’s what I liked so much about it. The VIP vibe of the entire festival finished the night off perfectly, and I got invited to play some birthday parties right off the street in a house that was literally next door to the fest. Ironically we were part of the same Schustermann philanthropy program in Jerusalem and knew each other distantly. We always love a “festival moment” when that happens. To leave with that small story, or leave with the story of how The Village People gave Grady Brennan (G-Eazy’s photo/CD) a case of Jamcellars Butter Chardonnay, is a story that’ll be share forever.
8. Visibility: I’d say it is top-notch. I literally just met someone at the festival and they booked me already for mid-October, which is kinda crazy. Here we are with a different gig. only one month after this one. More and more stuff keeps happening while we pitch for more. The storytelling continues. While I was at the festival, my own festival landed in the NY Post, which helped me get more opportunities at Bottlerock.
9. The Weather. Nice and hot but also not a hurricane and mud. You can’t really beat the weather of Napa Valley. The only thing they are missing is a pool, but the fact that it was impossible to cancel while multiple festivals have been canceled due to rain is such a plus. Nothing beats caliifornia weather.
10. Fans and The Schmooze: The fact that you can schmooze with fans in the crowd and it is quite normal is a great vibe to it. I was able to meet many fans and people who found me with the Bottler Rock app on day 1, who learned my music and were already singing the words by the 2nd-night show.
Extra Credit: Double Play: Something always happens when you miss the first set of an artist. You make that special festival connection and you can play two sets here. This is a key necessity for new artists. We get to play a festival twice that some people don’t get to play once. Believe it or not; not everyone looks at the schedule and these things happen at festivals.
Is there anything I missed? Do you know. a better place to play? Do tell us. Regardless, I cannot wait to. go back and be on a bigger stage with a bigger project next time.
Kosha Dillz is a NYC-based artist and with a billboard charting album and a good picker. His collaboration list ranges from Kaskade to Rza and his latest album Nobody Cares Except You is produced in the majority by Sam Barsh, who landed production on Kanye West’s Hurricane and is a #1 song. When he doesn’t rap, he also curates SXSW official showcases and most recently created Bald Fest, a festival for “bald people and bald lovers” that landed on the Emmy winning Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He can be contacted at rapperfriends at gmail dot com.