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Your Insiders’ View from Southwest Airlines into Live in the Vineyard

Explorer C

This weekend, Kristie and I are excited to be guest bloggers here on the Nuts About Southwest Blog, reporting on all the amazing music, wine, and food from Live in the Vineyard happening in Napa this weekend April 3-6, 2014.
With Lee Dewyze
With Lee DeWyze
If you weren't one of the lucky few sweepstakes winners or Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers attending this weekend, we will give you a window into this exclusive event.  Through photos, tweets, and video interviews, we will be bringing you all the social media that’s fit to share over the next few days from this intimate pairing of wine and music.  In fact, if the schedules work out, this weekend we will be interviewing LP, Allen Stone, Fitz and the Tantrums, Birdy, and others.  The spring headliners include Colbie Caillat, O.A.R., and Sarah McLachlan with a special late night show from one of my favorite bands, Better Than Ezra!
With Paloma Faith
With Paloma Faith
We are so excited, we can hardly wait, and it all starts tonight at Hall Winery with an opening reception featuring Birdy, who you may know from her cover of "Skinny Love," which received all kinds of international acclaim.  Not bad for a teenager, eh?  These are the sorts of artists who we get to enjoy at Live in the Vineyard—the sorts of people you really want to know, just as they are breaking, or about to break, it big.  So you definitely want to follow along throughout the weekend by checking in on the hashtag #SWAatLITV (Southwest Airlines at Live in the Vineyard) to get an insider’s view on this great event that Southwest Airlines supports.
With Ryan Starr
With Ryan Starr
By the way, for those of you who don't know me, my name is Chris Heuer, and I am, as my friends say, the lesser half to the dynamic duo known as Chris and Kristie (my wife).  We founded a nonprofit organization called Social Media Club back in 2006 to help people learn about social media, promote ethical behavior, and advance industry standards.  We are proud to say that Southwest Airlines was one of the earliest supporters of our nonprofit, and our relationship with the social media Team here has evolved over the years into this very lucky gig.  We get to help Southwest share the special experience of Live in the Vineyard with food, wine, and music influencers, as well as all our friends, through social media. We feel blessed to have attended the past five events, enjoying some incredibly special moments, drinking some of the best wine in the world, and meeting some of our favorite musical artists and emerging talent. This year, through a series of lucky accidents, we find ourselves in this role of guest bloggers, getting a chance to share our story in a slightly more formal way on the Nuts About Southwest Blog.  We hope you are able to follow along, and participate from wherever you are.  In fact, if any of the artists performing at Live in the Vineyard are your favorites, and you would like us to ask them a question, post it here in the comments or tweet us, and we will do our best to get you an answer.  (@chrisheuer and @kristiewells are our Twitter handles.) Looking back at past events we have attended, it's tough to pick just a few that stand out, but talking to Michael Chiarello and LP about artistry in music and food has to be up there along with having a very human conversation with James Blunt about his deeply emotional process of songwriting.  Then, of course, all the American Idol winners we've met: Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Lee DeWyze, Casey Abrams, and Haley Reinhart.  They were all just real, down-to-earth people when you get to meet them under the right circumstance.  That said, one of the most amazing things about LITV is how Claire and Bobbi, the producers, select the most amazing talent, who haven't yet made it big.  Two examples that come to mind are seeing fun. play "We Are Young" in the barrel room of Nickel and Nickel winery a couple of nights before their David Letterman performance and interviewing American Authors last November before their album even dropped.  I am sure there will be a few more of those "we-met-them-when-nobody-knew-them" musicians this year, and I can't wait to meet them. Chartiable4Most of all though, it’s the unique combination of energies, people, and activities that make it such an extraordinary experience, for which we are forever grateful for the chance to participate.  The vibe in Napa Valley is so relaxing and so inviting that, when you bring in the most talented musicians to hang out with the amazing chefs and wine makers, the art that is produced is truly magical.  So that is what we will be trying to capture this weekend to share with you—the magic that happens when great art is made in a great place, "Live in the Vineyard." Look for more insiders’ views of Live in the Vineyard from Southwest Airlines Guest Bloggers Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells over the days ahead and follow along online via our Twitter account, as well as with the hashtag #SWAatLITV.