Music, good eats, adult beverages and the Southern California sun – what’s not to love about Kaaboo Del Mar? Welcome to our Kaaboo 101 article. Think of this as an FAQ or introduction to Kaaboo Del Mar. Here I will go over all the basic information in regards to Kaaboo to allow you to make an informed decision on if you want to attend. After reading this you should have a pretty good idea on what Kaaboo is all about.
Kaaboo Del Mar is one of the newest music festivals in the country, taking place in Del Mar, CA. Kaaboo first launched in 2015 and will now be entering its third year in 2017. The location for Kaaboo could not be better, and I’m not just saying that because it’s twenty minutes north of my home in downtown San Diego. It’s one of the few festivals I know of you can see the ocean from the venue, which is terrific. Kaaboo attempts to be the ‘adult Coachella’ in both the music it offers and the amenities of its venue. Don’t expect frat bros pounding Natty Ice before heading to the festival here - Kaaboo likes to keep it a little more classy and provide a more mature experience to its festivalgoers. Basically Kaaboo is the music festival for you if you aren’t in your early 20s anymore and are over the party scene.
I think the main appeal of Kaaboo is it’s a rare music festival that targets an older crowd that is in its late 20s / early 30s. Most of the music is geared towards this audience as are the amenities. For example, Kaaboo offers regular, flushable bathrooms for general admission patrons. This may seem an odd thing to point out if you haven’t been to another music festival, but I assure you this luxury is usually reserved for VIP people only. Kaaboo has other amenities as well such as an air-conditioned comedy lounge, fine dining and even a pool area to get some sun. It’s a pretty unique experience and refreshingly aimed at more than just the 18-24 crowd.
Kaaboo takes place every year in Del Mar, CA. If you aren’t from Southern California you may be unaware but this is fairly centrally located. Del Mar, CA is about 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego. Specifically, Kaaboo is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which is an absolutely beautiful venue right on the ocean. I really cannot think of a festival that I have attended or read about that has a nicer location than Kaaboo.
Kaaboo takes place usually in mid to late September every year. For example, Kaaboo 2017 will take place over September 15th to September 17th, 2016. In general the festival is held the third weekend of September.
This varies year to year, especially because Kaaboo is a new festival and still working out the kinks. For Kaaboo 2017 the music lineup will be released on March 23rd according to the festival. Last year Kaaboo periodically released information on the lineup by announcing bands here and there, but this year they appear to be going for one, large lineup release.
The first year of its existence Kaaboo followed standard protocol with a lineup release and then a ticket sale. This occurred on June 23rd, 2015. They’ve switched it up now and just have tickets on sale, without any lineup release. Tickets went on sale shortly after Kaaboo 2016 wrapped up and have remained available for purchase since then. You can go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kaaboo-del-mar-september-15th-17th-2017-tickets-27390611055 to purchase passes to Kaaboo Del Mar.
The image above shows the ticket prices for Kaaboo Del Mar 2017. There are three different levels of passes for Kaaboo: general admission, Hang Five VIP (Standard VIP), and Hang Ten VIP (Super VIP). The total for the three-day general admission passes to Kaaboo Del Mar are $255.45 when you add up all of the fees. The Hang Five VIP passes will cost $769.45 and the Hang Ten VIP passes cost $2,701.45.
Above you can see the map for Kaaboo, including all the music stages, comedy lounge, entrances, and more. There are seven stages for performances: Sunset Cliffs, Grandview, Trestles, Tourmaline, Zuma, Encore and Humor Me. The venue may look large and spreadout, but the Del Mar Fairgrounds are easy to walk around and it won’t take you long to get from one end to the other. As I’ve mentioned Kaaboo has an absolutely fantastic venue.
You have a lot of options on where to book accommodations for Kaaboo. You can obviously stay right in Del Mar, CA, where the festival takes place. This obviously makes getting in and out of Kaaboo the easiest. San Diego has pretty poor public transportation so getting and leaving Kaaboo can be a hassle, so you can avoid this by staying in Del Mar. There are some hotels in the area and a lot of AirBNB’s so it’s definitely an option.
Of course, if you can’t afford to stay in Del Mar as it is quite expensive, there are a plentitude of other options. As I resident of San Diego for over five years now I really feel where you should stay depends on the type of trip you want in San Diego. If you want to stay on the beach you should stay in Carlsbad (family oriented) or the Mission / Pacific Beach areas (younger, more party oriented). If you want nightlife, food, and a lot to do then you should stay in downtown San Diego. If you are looking to be economical you could look at the Mission Valley area. All of these areas are some distances from Kaaboo so you will need to arrange for how you are actually going to get to the festival, so keep that in mind when booking accommodations.
No, there is no camping at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for Kaaboo. As I said, this is a more mature experience, not one where you bum it in a tent for the weekend.
September is notoriously hot in San Diego. I believe the last few years its generally our hottest month. That said, this is still San Diego and we have beautiful weather. You can expect the temperatures at Kaaboo to be in the upper 70s to lower 80s most days. You do get a nice, ocean breeze in Del Mar as well so it should be quite pleasant at Kaaboo.[
The Kaaboo gates open everyday at 11:30 a.m. The outdoor entertainment, which is the live music, will end at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9 p.m. on Sunday. Indoor entertainment, such as the comedians, will go on for a couple of hours after the live music ends. Admission gates will close at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, so don’t expect to be able to get in after that.
Kaaboo generally releases the festival set times a couple weeks before the festival takes place. For example, Kaaboo 2015 began on September 18th and the festival set times were released on September 2nd, 2015. Look for Kaaboo to release set times in early September.
This varies a bit but artists on the lower lines usually get about 40 to 50 minutes. Headliners will get about 90 minutes. You can see the sample schedule for one day from Kaaboo 2015 for each stage below. The schedule generally follows this same type of scheduling.
Friday, Sept. 18
Sunset Cliffs Stage Presented In Partnership With Mercedes-Benz USA
Revivalists (3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.)
Fitz & The Tantrums (4:30 p.m.-5:55 p.m.)
Foster The People (6:25 p.m.-7:55 p.m.)
No Doubt (8:25 p.m.-9:55 p.m.)
Grandview Stage Presented In Partnership With Harrah’s
Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.)
Jamestown Revival (2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m.)
Brett Dennen (3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.)
Delta Rae (5:15 p.m.-6:25 p.m.)
Dirty Heads (6:55 p.m.-7:55 p.m.)
Snoop Dogg (8:25 p.m.-9:55 p.m.)
Peter Matthew Bauer (12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.)
Wheeland Brothers (1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.)
Nahko & Medicine For The People (3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m.)
Bonnie Raitt (4:45 p.m.-6:15 p.m.)
Sheryl Crow (6:45 p.m.-8:15 p.m.)
Trestles Stage Presented In Partnership With Discover San Diego
Knox Hamilton (1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.)
Nicki Bluhm (2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)
Ozomatli (4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.)
Allen Stone (5:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m.)
Los Lobos (7:15 p.m.-8:30 p.m.)
Tourmaline Stage Presented In Partnership With Gigtown Music
Burning Of Rome (11:00 a.m.-11:45 p.m.)
Garret Lee Robinson (12:15 p.m.-1:00 p.m.)
Larry Kolker (1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.)
Ki (2:45 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)
The Midnight Pine (4:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.)
Fairground Saints (6:00 p.m.-6:45 p.m.)
Humor Me Stage
Anthony Jesel Nikrhea Butcher (4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m.)
Chris D’ellajason Collings (6:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m.)
Lewis Blackjohn Bowman (11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.)
White Panda (10:00 p.m.-10:45 p.m.)
Griz (11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.)
Icona Pop (12:15 a.m.-1:30 a.m.)
The Floozies (1:45 a.m.-2:30 a.m.)
Hopefully this has been a good introduction into Kaaboo Del Mar. If you have any questions about Kaaboo you feel haven’t been answered yet feel free to reach out to me at Shawn@EventTrk.com, and I will answer your question and add it to this page as well.