Though musical acts sell most of the tickets to the three-day BottleRock, there’s a lot more going on than bands playing on stages. Here are 10 things you had to check out.

1. Silent dancing

Ever heard of a silent disco? We hadn’t either, but it’s all the rage with the kids. The idea: Everyone puts on headphones while DJs play a live set, broadcast directly to your ears. Anyone without headphones can’t hear a thing, but if you’re wired up, you can break it down and let your freak flag fly. Hilarious to watch and to participate.

2. Pimento fondue, cream puffs and crab fries

Food is a highlight of this festival, and you can find just about any cuisine from Indian and Thai to upscale California and nouveau Southern. (Chicken and waffles, anyone?) Our faves this year included Ca’Momi’s amazing cream puffs, pimento fondue and salted pretzels (with a few veggies) from Palisades Napa, and crab fries from Gourmet Faire. We’re so full it hurts.

3. Climbing into a heart

Sculptural pieces placed throughout the venue had a “love” theme, but the best was a steel heart kids could climb into. It’s not anatomically correct, but love translates no matter what form.

4. A $20 glass of wine is no big thing

Winery tents stationed throughout the venue let patrons sit back, enjoy a glass of wine in a comfy chairs — or even a hammock — and watch the world go by. The Boisset tent attracted plenty of kids and kids-at-heart with flying bubbles, but the Silver Oak tent took the cake for most-expensive with $20 glasses of cabernet.

5. Zio Ziegler’s 'The Ballad of Desire'

San Francisco mural artist Zio Ziegler stole the show with a massive graffiti mural overshadowing the Lagunitas Lounge. You gotta see it to believe it.

6. Giant sunhats

This is Wine Country after all, and hats are more than utilitarian. They’re a fashion statement, and none more than the colorful sunhats shading the heads, shoulders and 3-foot radius around the ladies sporting these fashionable chapeaux.

7. Getting cheeky

We have to say it. Cheeky is a thing. Gals with high-waisted cut-offs were flashing more than just a little leg. Oh, to be young.

8. Craft cocktails

Beer, wine and hibiscus-infused vodka cocktails with a splash of basil soda? Sixteen dollars later, you’ve got a serious beverage poured from a tap. It sure beats a warm beer, though.

9. Shave and a haircut, free

No need to look raggedy while watching Imagine Dragons. Sailor Jerry’s rum hosted a dude-a-vicious shave and haircut stand, no 10 cents needed.

10. Wine lines longer than beer lines

Only at BottleRock are the waits for wine longer than the waits for beer. On tap, in bottles, with corks, without corks, and just about any way you can sip it, festivalgoers know that when you’re in Napa, you pretty much can’t get a bad pour around here.

You can reach Heather Irwin at 526-8544 or Read her food and dining blog at