KAABOO finds success in offering an upscale, eclectic festival of music, comedy, food, and the arts
Music festivals are fun, but let’s face it — for the most part they can be an endurance test, especially the older you get. While it’s great to hang out with groups of friends, and even make some new ones, standing for hours on end and suffering through trips to overused and overheated port-a-potties really hinder the overall experience.
Enter KAABOO, the three-day music, comedy, art, and culinary delights event that began in Del Mar (in San Diego County) in 2015 and this year added two additional locations—one in Arlington, Texas and one in the Cayman Islands. An upscale festival, KAABOO is expanding while other long-running music festivals have been scaling down to only one location. So, what’s the secret to KAABOO’s success? A big part of it is putting the attendee’s experience first and catering to grown-ups.
A Unique Experience
KAABOO creator Bryan Gordon described the festival as a “mix-perience” when speaking to the San Diego Union-Tribune on the eve of the inaugural weekend and the event has certainly lived up to that description. An eclectic collection of musical acts that have ranged from the Zac Brown Band and No Doubt to Aerosmith, the Wu Tang Clan, and Katie Perry, are brought together with up-and-coming local acts, famous comedians such as Norm MacDonald, Arsenio Hall, and Sarah Silverman to provide hours of entertainment.
On top of the performances, KAABOO features world-class dining from celebrity chefs and craft cocktails from talented local bartenders. Of course, the food and drinks wouldn’t be as refreshing without somewhere to relax and enjoy it, so the festival offers seating in restaurants, common areas, and climate-controlled indoor entertainment areas. Perhaps most importantly, there are real bathrooms, regularly cleaned; not a port-a-potty to be found onsite.
In short, gone are the days where festival-goers were forced to stand in dirt fields, inhaling dust while covered in sweat just to catch a far-away glimpse of their favorite artists. Those looking for even more luxury can upgrade to VIP passes that allow access to exclusive seating, lounges, and complimentary food and drinks — not to mention access to VIP-only performances.
Gordon’s unique vision has worked as KAABOO, in only its fifth year, held festivals in two new locations earlier this year and is already making plans to return to both sites. While many other festivals are increasingly targeting younger audiences, KAA BOO caters to a more sophisticated crowd while offering entertainment that can’t be beat and compares to, if not surpasses, that found on the rest of the festival circuit.
The success of KAABOO proves that there is a market for musical festivals beyond the 18- to 22-year-old crowd that is more willing, and able, to deal with discomfort in less than ideal environs. Better yet, it offers a luxurious weekend escape for hard-working professionals looking for a way to recharge and take a break from daily stresses.
The 2019 Del Mar KAABOO will take place September 13th through 15th and feature such performers as Dave Matthews Band, Duran Duran, Snoop Dogg, Colbie Caillat, Wayne Brady, and Bob Saget. The second KAABOO Texas and KAABOO Cayman will be held in early 2020, so even if the Southern California festival is too far away, an opportunity to experience this reimagined festival a bit closer to home will still present itself.