New main stage debuts at Napa's BottleRock festival this weekend

The BottleRock festival in Napa is back for the Memorial Day weekend and organizers say they're sold out, expecting 40,000 people each day of the event that runs from Friday through Sunday.

This year, there's a brand new main stage.

'It's taller and bigger and wider than it's ever been with even bigger video screens than in the past, so from every angle, you'll feel like you're up close and personal," said Justin Dragoo with Latitude 38, which produces BottleRock.

A total of six music stages will have simultaneous performances, with big stars such as Imagine Dragons, Santana,  Neil Young, Pharrell Williams. There will also be Bay Area acts such as Shannon Shaw and The Napa Valley Youth Symphony.

BottleRock organizers say the layout this year is more open to avoid last year's bottlenecks, when people crowded through tight spaces to see big acts. 

Also new are improvements with the crowd flow at the entrance and exit gates. 

"Another thing we did is open up the security lanes to to get into the festival. We've increased those by 50%. So much much bigger wider angles for people to get from stage to stage," said Dragoo.

Dozens of wineries will be pouring from tents. Food cabanas will feature dishes from the some of the region's famous Michelin star chefs. Thomas Keller increased his booths from one to three this year, while Iron Chef Morimoto joined the festival for 2019 and Meadowood will be serving food in the platinum tent. 

The popular food stage is also ready for chef and musicians to partner in cooking demonstrations. 

Food trucks are another feature. 

 "I think it's our fifth year now. We've watched it grow, we think it's an amazing festival. It's not just about the music, it's about the food which is nice," said Jerry Sladewski, with the MeSoHungry food truck. 

Crews worked hard to lay down turf to help cover up some of the mud from last week's rain.

"We do have backup ponchos in our merch store should we need them but fingers are crossed we wont' need them at all," said Dragoo.

Festival organizers also say they've done more to address neighbors' concerns about noise and traffic. There are "no parking signs" to protect surrounding streets.

The festival has also hired more neighborhood ambassadors to address neighbors needs during the weekend. 

For attendees, there is a new bag policy. Bag's can't be larger than 14 inches and no backpacks are allowed.

Gates open Friday morning at 11:30 a.m.