The 5th annual KAABOO Del Mar continued on Saturday, September 14th, 2019 at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds near San Diego, California. The oceanside venue shone under the warm California sun, with the ocean breeze cooling it down slightly for the night-time performances under a full moon.
This unique festival combines multiple genres of music, world-class comedy, gourmet food trucks, craft libations, a massive art gallery and live performance art. There are mulitple levels of VIP seating and amenities, including a VIP-only stage where the thoroughbreds are presented on race days.
The main stage opened with an electrifying and emotional set from Badflower, one of the hottest new rock bands to come around in years. The band even announced mid-set that it was going so well, they just booked a headlining show in San Diego for October. The rest of the day was filled with an ever-building collection of heavy hitters from Southern California, up to Canada and across the pond to England setting the stage for a double headliner finale that left many debating how to end their night.
Rock royalty Bryan Adams, Squeeze, Sublime with Rome, Switchfoot and OneRepublic each performed with the hunger of a struggling band – displaying incredible vocals, flawless instrumentation and timeless songwriting. Their stage presence alone would be enough to carry the day, but their talent and passion made for thousands of satisfying customers. To end the night, KAABOO festival goers had to choose between the pop energy and joy of the Black Eyed Peas, and the power and soulful energy of the Dave Matthews Band. Dave Matthews classic song “Tripping Billies” so elequently summed up the theme of the biggest day of the weekend: “So why would you care to get out of this place? You and me and all our friends, such a happy human race. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we’ll die.”
Of course, nobody wants to die, and noone wants our planet to die. Sustainability is KAABOO’s long term initiative with the objective to help the environment and incorporate it into all aspects of this event – reduce, recycle, sustain by one and all… musicians, artists, vendors, staff, and festival patrons. KAABOOs “Be Kind Sunshine” campaign Kindness Land + Sea booth by Wildcoast was set up to educate and spread the sustainability word. Overall, the goal is to be more eco-friendly and enjoyable with water refill stations and Reverbs water bottles for purchase and unlimited use for #rocknrefill to help reduce concert waste; and emission-free charging stations, just to name a couple items. PangeaSeed Foundation also shared space with Wildcoast in this booth promoting global ocean awareness: “A drop of paint can create an ocean of change”.
Craft – aside from the culinary shows at the “Palate + Play” stage, many vendors showcased their libations with creative artistic booth spaces in the “Artwork + Play”. Some vendors had actual art display booth and their culinary items for sale in another booth, like Intrinsic Wines, which showcase a mural, like the artwork on display throughout KAABOO. One Day 1 for example, the mural in Intrinsic’s art booth kicked off with a sketch and by Day 3 it was complete – so cool to see live art come to life like KAABOOs live music and then having opportunity to buy a glass of wine from that same art, made it even tastier.
The VIP stage featured Tim Reynolds, lead guitarist in the Dave Matthews Band, playing an intimate acoustic guitar set. Later, things got a little bit crazy and a lot louder. Chevy Metal, the all star cover band, features Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. On this day, he gave up the kit to Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, and took over front man duties. Taylor looked resplendant in his colorful outfit, topped off with a fabulous horse racing hat which would be perfect for Opening Day in Del Mar.
Late night comedy was off the chain in HUMOR ME – Bert Kreischer is a raunchy shirtless storyteller known for his straight talk and his huge following. He had the crowd howling in laughter at his stories.
The full lineup for Day 2:
Music: Dave Matthews Band / Black Eyed Peas / OneRepublic / Bryan Adams / Sublime With Rome / Squeeze / Switchfoot / Cheat Codes / Keunig / Badflower / Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes / Blind Melon / Mix Master Mike / Laine Hardy / The Artisanals / The Gooms / Suckerbox
Amplify (VIP Only) performances from: Chevy Metal / Tim Reynolds / Sir, Please
Comedy by: Bert Kreischer / Jimmy O. Yang / Tig Notaro / Tom Green