KAABOO – The first Festival of Its Kind

The festival scene is about to get KAABOOmed. I mean it–blown to experience pieces. The event KAABOO is taking over Del Mar San Diego the weekend of September 18, and most likely, the topic of conversation for the next…three years. On KAABOO’s website they never once use the term music festival or resort when classifying their paradise event.  Because technically, the “mix-perience” isn’t either. It’s doing something current music festivals haven’t quite mastered yet—bundling up all the amazing parts of a festival and eliminating the shitty ones. KAABOO has taken every pleasurable music experience, added it with the vacation algorithm, multiplied it by 1000 and subtracted every shitty thought you might have had during a festival. The exclusive experience takes festival-weiners and underage kids who are on way too much molly out of the equation. The crowd will range from young adults to worldly people (children must be accompanied by adults if you are 17 or younger), looking for a weekend of pure pleasure. It appeals to all ages except the wrong ones and markets itself as an “adult only” experience. It’s the first music event of its kind.

During the 3-day event, over 100 artists will take the stage. And performances don’t just include musicians, but artists and comedians, a smorgasbord of entertainment. KAABOO features a variety of contemporary public art installations, some in place when you arrive and others created live onsite during the event. KAABOO’s public art transforms the venue into an evolving journey of surprise, delight and discovery. This is your chance to watch art in the making, and to pair your experience with inspiring visual artistry. And it doesn’t stop there.artists-at-Kaaboo

The headliners include No Doubt, Zac Brown Band, and The Killers. I normally would list all the acts, but KAABOO has more numbers than the stock market, and I can’t possibly list the other 97 artists, not including the late night performances for the after-hour parties. Find the whole lineup below.full lineup-kaaboo

If music isn’t the only thing you’re after, Humor Me is the indoor, air conditioned, seated, comedy club featuring nationally recognized comedians like Joel Michaele, Jeff Garlin, and Anthony Jeselnik.

San Diego sports some of the most fantastic weather in the entire country. To help you take advantage, there is essentially a mini resort onsite. Attached to the main stage Sunset Cliffs is a pool and a personal bar. You can enjoy the music of the main stage while lying in cabanas and chaise lounges under the cool shade of a rented umbrella. With a direct stage view and an exclusive bar, this mini vacation is worth the rental fee. Encore is the after-hours adult club with music late into the night if you’re feeling frisky and restless.

The Palate is made up of all the restaurants you can eat. Not to get confused with the “Posh Nosh,” which is essentially the “food truck area.” There are bungalows and picnic-y areas where you can eat the quickly-made gourmet food. The palate is made up of 18 top local restaurants with chefs like Javier Prascencia, Jeff Strauss, and Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey, in addition to 15 others. In land-of-the-wine there are 30 exclusive California wineries represented with over 100 different wines, oh and the 30 craft distilleries. What’s heaven + orgasm equal?


Before I get into the refined details of KAABOO, that make the festival the Natalie Portman of experiences, I have to give a shoutout to their exquisitely crafted website. I have never seen a more user-friendly, elegant, and detailed website. You could read more and more and more about every single chef, every restaurant, and every aspect. It sold me, truly. This being KAABOO’s inaugural year, one can only rely on their word, but damn are they upping the stakes this far, and I’ve just clicked my way through.

For all the fun and joy festivals bring, there are parts that are less than pleasurable. The line waiting, the dirtiness, the crowding, just overall the lack of perfection when executing a festival. KAABOO has a solution for it all.

KAABOO is a new model of efficiency. Spend more time enjoying your favorite musician, not waiting in line. The site design has been created efficiently to move guests between performance stages and unique venues swiftly and easily. Better yet, KAABOO is offering the Fast Pass that lets you get in and onto your experience as quickly as possible. Cut to the front and get moving with the Fast Pass. You can purchase one when you purchase your ticket but with a limited amount, it is a first come, first serve basis.del mar- san diego

Another issue, perhaps the largest, is the dirtiness. The mud when it rains, the dust and dirt swirling around when it’s humid, and the sweat and grossness of fellow festival-goers. But at KAABOO, you really can be like Aaron Carter and put your new white Nikes to the test. KAABOO promises cleanliness and in the festival world—you don’t promise cleanliness if you can’t deliver cleanliness—you just don’t. That’s a substantial promise to make and a big chance to fail. That’s why KAABOO really means it. With several areas both indoor and outdoor, the space accommodates whatever you feel like doing and whatever  weather mother nature might bring, which for San Diego is most likely 71 degrees and sunny. Oh shucks.

And they have Indulgences. Indulgences is the onsite spa. With showers, massages, manicurists, and specialists that’ll blow out your hair, you can treat yourself if you’re feeling less than fresh. Indulgences also includes virtual surfing games and a golf simulator so you can hit a few balls in between shows.

Set in the surreal Del Mar San Diego, the destination of choice for many a movie star and anyone with a taste for fast horses, the landscape is covered in beautiful beaches and decadent cuisine. In addition to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, home to the Del Mar Races and San Diego County Fair, the historic Del Mar Village offers a variety of renowned restaurants, unique shops, luxury and beach-style homes. The Saturday’s farmers’ market is a great place to pick up the freshest and finest produce, flowers and seafood the region has to offer.

One dollar of every pass sold by KAABOO will be split equally among their community partners through their charitable giving program, KINDNESS. They believe strongly that local charity organizations have the ability to affect major change in the community. You will have the opportunity to donate even more, which will be matched dollar for dollar by KAABOO. charities

Frankly, I’m cheap as shit and a firm believer that there is no reason to ever go for VIP at a non-camping festival. KAABOO is the one exception. Just with a general admission ticket you gain access to all the amenities listed above, so Carrie Bradshaw and I had to wonder, what on earth could the VIP ticket be like? For everything KAABOO offers, a $300 3-day ticket is extremely reasonable. Ticket options are below. pass prices

more passesKAABOO will offer an experience that has yet to be tapped when it comes to entertainment. The adult escape has unwritten codes of conduct paired with a laid back attitude. It blends all great experiences and meshes them into one fabulous weekend of great music. The vibe is the Goldilocks of ambiances—not too stuffy, not too adolescently manic, but just the perfect party for adults to cut loose and have fun. Just right.


By: Sarah Kelleher

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