Review and photos by Johnnie Crow
The second annual KAABOO Del Mar took place at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds near San Diego, California on September 16 – 18, 2016. The upscale festival featured a mixperience of live music of every variety, legendary comedians and DJ’s, artists, chefs, brewers and vendors of many unique items. It was a sensory overload of overlapping schedules that left fans with difficult choices to make, and not enough room to facilitate everyone’s wishes.
Two main stages, three side stages, a comedy club and a dance hall hosted 120 top acts featuring Jimmy Buffett, Aerosmith, Jack Johnson, Fall Out Boy, Lenny Kravitz, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Avett Brothers, The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Collective Soul, Goo Goo Dolls, Gavin DeGraw, Grouplove, Jason Isbell, Third Eye Blind, Capital Cities, Flo Rida, Ludacris, Andrew McMahon, DJ Snoopadelic, Cypress Hill, Cold War Kids, Dana Carvey, Sarah Silverman, and Cheech and Chong. The first main stage was set up in the area where the track normally hosts the summer concert series after the horse races. A second main stage was added this year on the track infield, across a single narrow path, essentially cutting the event in two. Both areas were transformed into beachfront property, with artificial turf for the VIP side, and sand with wooden boardwalks for the general crowd.
Kaaboo once again displayed many large art murals, some of which were painted in real time by the artists over the course of the 3-day weekend. There was a massive indoor art gallery, surrounded by dozens of local restaurants, wineries and breweries which provided a high class respite from the sun, as well as luxurious restroom facilities as compared to your typical festival.
The musical lineup was about as diverse as it can get, leading to many exciting discoveries if fans happened to navigate themselves into position to experience an act they had never seen before. The headliners did not disappoint, taking advantage of full size stages and excellent production in the way of video screens, lighting and even fireworks.
There was a heavy emphasis on the VIP concert afficionado, with two classes available, each offering many advantages over the general admission. With so much going on, and no possible way to witness it all, having special access was a definite bonus. Early bird passes are already on sale for KAABOO 2017, available at https://www.kaaboodelmar.com/.