By Wendy Lemlin
Music, Art, Food, Comedy –- KAABOO Del Mar brings all the elements of a good time together in one multi-focus three day event billed as a “mixperience”. Ambitiously begun in 2015 as the largest multi-faceted cultural event to hit the San Diego area, the 2nd annual installment of KAABOO Del Mar takes place September 16-18 and sprawls throughout the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The festival organizers define KAABOO as “an adult escape, created by music lovers for music lovers, uniquely curated to appeal to all five of your senses, with world-class music, dancing, incredible cuisine, craft libations, inspiring contemporary art, and personal indulgences”.
At the heart of KAABOO Del Mar is the music, with over 78 eclectic artists appearing on 5 stages, performing everything from Americana/Roots music to classics, to Hip Hop. Those who spring for the VIP “Amplify” ticket, get to start the party early on Thursday evening, with entertainment by Chris Isaak and Macy Gray.
On Friday, it will be “fins up” for all the Parrotheads, as Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band close out the Sunset Cliffs Stage at 8:25pm. Friday’s lineup, which begins at noon, also includes Daryl Hall & John Oates, Fall Out Boy, Dumpstaphunk, Steve Polz, and about 21 other acts. Roots music fans will want to be sure to
catch The Dustbowl Revival at 6:45 on the Tourmaline Stage. I saw them on Labor Day weekend at the Rhythm and Roots Festival in Charlestown, RI, and they rocked with high energy and excellent musicianship.
Saturday’s 26 or so musical acts also begin at noon and run the gamut from Aerosmith to Lenny Kravitz, from Goo Goo Dolls to Flo Rida, as well as Americana greats Steve Earle & Shawn Colvin performing together at the Palate Stage.
On Sunday Jack Johnson closes out the live music on the Sunset Cliffs Stage at 7:30, and other notable artists include Jason Isbell, Blues Traveler, Donavon Frankenreiter,, and a host of others. Find the complete desktop schedule here, and be sure to download the KAABOO app which will give you all the info about who’s playing on which stage.
A good time always involves lots of laughter, and KAABOO Del Mar plans to bring plenty of that to the Humor Me Stage. Dana Carvey, Cheech & Chong, and Sarah Silverman are just a few of the comics who will help you keep that grin on your face and the guffaw in your belly.
Speaking of bellies, one of the culinary highlights of the festival is at PALATE where, if last year’s experience is any indication, guests will enjoy artisanal fare more tasteful than at a typical music festival, and which represents the most upscale culinary environment of the “mix-perience.” At PALATE, guests can sample local and regional delicacies and small-batch specialties from a variety of carefully selected culinary artisans, paired, if desired, with dozens of limited production wines or craft libations. On the PALATE stage, watch
- Celebrity Chef Demos
- Chef and culinary luminary book signings
- Musical performances and
- The KAABOO Rockin’ Chef Competition, presented by Chef’s Roll.
The Rockin’ Chef Competion, emceed by renowned chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey and San Diego Magazine food critic and TV food personality Troy Johnson, will pit the following chefs against each other in a battle for cash, prizes and prestige:
- Phillip Esteban, Executive Chef, Cork and Craft in Rancho Bernardo
- Michael Poompan, Executive Chef, Coronado Island Resort & Spa by Marriott
- Steve Brown, Chef /Owner, Harvest/Cosecha, Los Angeles and San Diego
- Anthony Sinsay, Executive Chef JSix, San Diego
- Dushyant Singh, Culinary Director, Camby Hotel, Phoenix, AZ
- Herve Glin, Executive Chef, Parker Palm Springs, Palm Springs
But wait, there’s more! When you’re feeling peckish, there’s also Posh Nosh, the upscale food plaza that offers healthy, flavorful fare in a shaded area with plentiful seating. To enjoy all this great music, food, laughter and fun, you have to look and feel your best, right? That’s where the Indugences area comes in. Think of it as a mini-spa area, with fashion, massage, and beauty services. There are also public art installations—some created while you watch, “beach” time at BASK, with a pool, exclusive bar, and private cabanas and a direct view of the Grandview Stage, and ENCORE, KAABOO’s late-night DJ dance party, open from 10:00 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.
Advance prices for all this awesomeness range from $119 for 1 day ($149 at the gate) or $299 for 3 days ($349 at gate) to a variety of special packages that include all kinds of extra benefits and experiences for up to $2499. There’s lots more info to be had at the KAABOO website, and at the mobile app. I highly recommend acquainting yourself with all the deets, such as what you can and can’t bring, before you go!