10 Reasons to go to Kaaboo Festival in Del Mar Next Year

The Kaaboo Festival in Del Mar, CA kicked off with enormous success. Featuring some of the biggest names in music, Kaaboo positioned itself...

The Kaaboo Festival in Del Mar, CA kicked off with enormous success. Featuring some of the biggest names in music, Kaaboo positioned itself as one of the best Southern California music festivals with its incredible debut. Although it has little competition, the experience of attending Kaaboo was remarkable. I got a chance to cover it as a media correspondent and absolutely loved it. From the various amenities to the incredible live performances, every part of Kaaboo was a unique and eventful experience.

Kaaboo was a three-day event featuring 100 performances on 7 stages. Billed as a "mixperience," Kaaboo is aimed at the more affluent and mature music listener rather than the drug-addled juvenile looking to just "do something."

Here are the 10 things that Kaaboo Festival did right.

My girlfriend
1. Headliners - Kaaboo rivaled any music festival's headliner roster featuring legendary acts like No Doubt on Friday, Zac Brown Band on Saturday, and The Killers on Sunday night (who just so happened to kill it with a stellar performance). Other big names included Snoop Dogg, Train, Foster the People, Slightly Stoopid, 311, Counting Crows, The Roots, Spoon and more. If it sounds like I'm name dropping, I am.

2. Emerging Talent - It wouldn't be a good music festival if they didn't include smaller acts with larger than life performances. Not only did Kaaboo feature legendary acts like the ones listed above, but also covered genres from EDM to folk pop and everything in between. Other artists include Neon Trees, Switchfoot, Icona Pop, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Awolnation, Girl Talk, Tribal Seeds, and the list goes on.

3. Comedy - I got to take a break from the blistering heat and found shade and laughter in a dedicated seating area aptly titled the "Humor Me" stage. Comedians in attendance included the dark prince of comedy Anthony Jeselnik, Chris D'Elia, Tig Notaro, Lewis Black, Ron Funches, and a standing-room only show for Joel McHale. As a Community fan, I was more than pleased.

4. Food - Kaaboo offered a step-up in festival cuisine. It featured 18 top local restaurants and chefs. Not only that but chefs competed in a cook-off for a chance to win 4 VIP-passes to Kaaboo next year (September 16-18, 2016). Yes, annoyed Del Mar neighbors, Kaaboo will be back next year.

Artwork at Kaaboo Music Festival in Del Mar, CA
Intricate Hand Bent Wire Sculpture by Spenser Little

5. Art - As I walked around I was able to scope out public art installations where over 80 regional and national artists displayed their works of art. I also saw some live art being created. Needless to say, there was never a dull moment. 

6. Late Night DJ's - If you're a night owl, fear not, because Kaaboo hosted a late night dance party event from 10:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. inside an indoor dance venue with some of the best DJ's in the world including Girl Talk, Icona Pop, Big Gigantic, Griz, Cherub and more.

7. Location
San Diego is prime real estate for sandy beaches, warm weather and excellent views. The Sunset Cliffs main stage had a sandy beach area to enjoy the live performances which included No Doubt and Zac Brown Band. Did I mention that San Diego has some of the best weather in the world? Of course I did.

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Sheryl Crow 


8. VIP Perks
If you had the extra spending cash, the VIP pass allowed you to access restricted performances by Sheryl Crow and Ed Kowalcyzk on Thursday. Your hard earned cash also granted you access to VIP-only viewing spots so you could see your favorite band closer than the non-VIPs, obviously. 

9. Craft Beer/Spirits
San Diego is hop central. Kaaboo featured an onsite beer garden that was undoubtably one of the best lineups of craft breweries at a music festival. Featuring some of my local favorites like Port Brewing (San Marcos, CA), Belching Beaver (Vista, CA), Lost Abbey (San Marcos, CA), and Mother Earth (Vista, CA), Kaaboo knocked it out of the park with their beer selection.

10. History in the Making
As its debut, Kaaboo could not have gone any better. Everyone was nice, courteous, and just there to have a good time. Although there were a few neighbors who were annoyed at the noise levels, that can just be considered collateral damage.

Here's an extra one...

11. Charity
One dollar of every pass sold was split equally among four local charities: Feeding America San Diego, Armed Services YMCA San Diego, San Diego Music Foundation and Surfrider Foundation San Diego Charter.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience covering the festival as press. Attendants got to sample Larabars, Kettle chips, Starbucks drinks, and so much more at no extra cost. The Del Mar Fairgrounds were an excellent location for a music festival and I can't wait to go again next year.

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