Now in its 17th year, Festival Napa Valley is not your average festival. Though this is a California wine festival, the reach toward old world European glamor is clear: auctions, operas, jewelry stands, pseudo-Tuscan architecture. This festival is what you make it—you can ball out with Michelin meals and expensive hotels, or you can play dress-up in a thrifted shawl and sip a glass or two of wine over a free afternoon violin show.
Though it has a suggested dress code (“Napa Chic,” aka linens and slacks and sun hats, maybe?), the daytime performances are free, and the evening performances are $35 full price, $20 for students. Come for the curated array of Napa Valley wine vendors, stay for world-class musical performances: Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas will kick things off opening night; classical ballet dancers exiled from Russia and Ukraine due to the war will put on a performance called “Reunited in Dance”; Carrie Underwood (yes, of American Idol and “Before He Cheats”) will headline at the Arts for All Gala, where audience members will also be served dinner by a Michelin chef and taste local wines as part of the “Patron Experience” (read: $1000+ Patron Passes). Musical performances are held at the CIA at Copia, or at Charles Krug, a vineyard in St. Helena.
At Festival Napa Valley’s performances, food is not available, but wine is, abundantly. Festival passes that include access to the festival’s meals, called Vintner’s Luncheons, can be reserved by emailing the concierge directly. Vintner’s Luncheons take place at different vineyards around Napa where chefs are brought in to prepare foods that pair with the specific wines. If you’re in the mood for some style, Neiman Marcus is hosting a fashion show during one luncheon at the Frank Family Vineyards Miller House. For a one-stop Napa shop, try out the Taste of Napa event at the Meritage Resort on July 15. A $150 GA ticket includes tastings from upwards of 70 local vendors, including vineyard, breweries, and restaurant.
Though the cinematic setting makes for beautiful drives across the dry, green valleys, be sure to appoint a designated driver for each day: wine tastings pair well with scenic drives, but only if you get there safely.
- Around 10,000 people attend a Festival Napa Valley event over 15 days of the festival
- Individual performances are free during the daytime (with a $3 online processing fee); evening performances cost $35 ($20) for students. All performances are general admission.
- “Patron Packages,” which give you access to a range of bonuses including a Patron Lounge, reserved concert seating, and hotel deals, range in cost from $1,500 for a Solo Day Pass to $12,000 for an all-access Passport. Patron Packages are sold via email: contact [email protected] to ask for more info
- Tickets for the Taste of Napa event on July 15 cost $150 for a GA pass, or $295 to gain access to a “Reserve Salon” with extra vendors.
- Check out these recommendations for a Napa Valley visit.
What is the closest airport to Festival Napa Valley?
There are some smaller airports close by (Napa County Airport, Sonoma County Airport), but realistically, your best bet is Oakland International Airport (63 miles from the festival) or even San Francisco International Airport (70 miles away). You can book a shuttle to Napa, or plan to rent a car.
Do I have to buy a Patron Package to attend?
No. You can show up on specific days, for specific events. Be prepared to purchase wine and snacks, which are not included in the price of performance tickets.
Is ADA seating available?
Yes. ADA arrangements are possible; to guarantee accessibility, contact the box office at [email protected]
Which artists are on the Festival Napa Valley lineup?
Aside from Carrie Underwood, other musicians performing are Xabier Anduaga, Lera Auerbach, Yang Bao, Shelly Berg, Matteo Bocelli, Breshears String Quartet, Christopher Costanza, Lisa Delan, Kyle Dickson, Motl Didner, Margaret Donaghue, Pasquale Esposito, Tara Faircloth, Festival Napa Valley Volti Chorale, Festival Orchestra Napa, Gregg Field, Katherine Fong, Francisco Fullana, David Garcia, Gordon Getty, Ronny Michael Greenberg, Jennifer Grim, Richard Howell, Fiona Khuong-Huu, Hina Khuong-Huu, David Kim, Eugene Kohn, Kevin Korth, Alexey Lavrov, Priscilla Lee, Jodi Levitz, Pei-Ling Lin, Noah Lindquist, Grant Loehnig, Adam Luftman, Lester Lynch, Malcolm MacKenzie, Alexander Malofeev, Stephanie Lynn Mason, Christina Maxwell, Irina Meachem, Lucas Meachem, Susanne Mentzer, Melody Moore, Bettina Mussumeli, Constantine Orbelian, Xander Parish, Adriano Pennino, Jessica Phillips, Julia Pilant, Scott Pingel, Cole Randolph, Harper Randolphe, Kristina Reiko Cooper, Serena Sáenz, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Don Scheindlin, Weston Sprott, Svet Stoyanov, Matthew Strauss, SUUVI, Time for Three, Aaron Tindall, Jean-Romain Vesperini, Ronit Widmann-Levy, Lori Wike, Jeffery Zeigler, and Eric Zivian.