In addition to being an economic boon for the city of Napa, BottleRock Napa Valley organizers hope their five-day music festival will be a boost to nonprofits.
The event, which could bring 35,000 people to the Napa Valley Expo the second week in May, will marry a for-profit venture with a philanthropic one. Organizer Gabriel Meyers said the goal is to raise $1 million for nonprofits in BottleRock’s inaugural year.
“We are hoping to do really, really well, and really, really good,” Meyers said.
The event is being staged by WillPower Entertainment, founded by Meyers and fellow Napan Bob Vogt. The company previously held a benefit concert at the Uptown to raise money for Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was left brain damaged after being assaulted by Dodgers fans in 2011.
Meyers said BottleRock provides a larger stage on which to raise charitable gifts.
The major beneficiary of BottleRock’s donations will be Autism Chords, a pending 501c3 nonprofit formed by Meyers and Vogt to support autism research and related efforts. The pair is particularly concerned with autism research because Vogt’s 21-year-old son Will, the inspiration for WillPower Entertainment, was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder around the age of 3.
Proceeds from the May 8 kick-off concert featuring Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will go to Autism Chords and the Foundation of Napa Recreation.
“When I did hear the news that the Foundation of Napa Recreation had been identified as a recipient of possible donations, I was excited,” said foundation chairman and City Council member Scott Sedgley.
The foundation supports various recreation programs throughout the city, in part by providing scholarships so youth may participate in sports. It co-sponsors Movies in the Park and the July 4th festivities.
The foundation is one of four local “Community Partners” that, in addition to Autism Chords, will benefit from each ticket sold. Meyers said $1 from every ticket purchase will be put in a pool to be distributed among Autism Chords, the Foundation for Napa Recreation, Napa Land Trust, Downtown Merchants Association and Music Connection.
About $20,000 has already been raised through this mechanism, Meyers said.
About 20 other nonprofits will receive donations from BottleRock.
“Autism is incredibly important to us. What’s important to you?” Meyers said of the effort to include a diverse group of charities to appeal to broad interests. “You’ve got a mother with breast cancer, you want to help animals, you might want to save the planet from global warming, you want to ban handguns. There’s a lot of positives people feel passionate about. Rather than say, ‘This is all about autism,’ this can be about many different things.”
Other nonprofits will be named and will benefit from ticket sales when purchasers use discount codes that are unique to those charities, Meyers said. Ticket buyers will receive a discount on their end, while the nonprofit will receive between $5 and $10 for each ticket or pass.
“We’d like to partner for power so we can have more people message this, more people be touched by this, more people influenced and it just feels good to have support,” Meyers said.
Some of those groups have already been named, including Napa Bike, Napa Valley Youth Symphony, Napa Spinal Cord Injury Network, International Mental Health Research Organization and the Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa.
Meyers said organizers are still working to secure partnerships with other nonprofits, some of them local, others national or international.
During the event, the Expo’s Cabernet Hall will host a nonprofit expo where the selected groups can distribute information. There will be a “quintessential Napa silent auction” in the hall, which will feature new items throughout the festival. Meyers expects musicians to offer up autographed instruments, meet-and-greets and more.
The auction will be run by eBay, so even those not at BottleRock may bid, Meyers said.
The final area where donations will be raised is through the Bottoms Up For BACCHUS promotion, which will give $1 from every beverage purchase — alcoholic or not — to the pool of charities.
BACCHUS, which uses the name of the Greek god of wine and “other adult” things, stands for Bands, Artists, Comedians and Communities Helping Us Serve.