It’s rare that a music festival receives as many mentions for its clean bathrooms as it does for its curated music and comedy lineups, but such happens to be the buzz surrounding past years of the KAABOO Del Mar Music Festival.
Heading into its fourth year, organizers aim for beyond the “festival” tag, and instead return each year with a bigger and more all-encompassing experience at the spacious Del Mar Fairgrounds beside the warm beaches in northern San Diego County.
With the goal of indulging each of the senses, KAABOO Del Mar has put together a weekend on Sept. 14-16 for those who enjoy not only packed musical, comedy, culinary, art and libation lineups, in addition to comfort and cleanliness. Think the features of Coachella, but for the adult set.
The mid-September dates promise crisp, sunny coastal days and warm nights while headliners Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Robert Plant & the Sensational Shape Shifters, Wiz Khalifa, N.E.R.D. and Post Malone share stages with a spectrum-straddling mix of bands such as Jimmy Eat World, Nelly, Everclear, The English Beat, Billy Idol, Cake, Bebe Rexha, Stone Temple Pilots and TLC — more than 60 musical performers in all.
Add to this a list of comedy performances from Judd Apatow, Craig Robinson, Whitney Cummings and Kevin Nealon, an assortment of art galleries and installations created for and during the weekend, featured chefs and brewers, beach cabanas, hair and spa treatments, and VIP indulgence and special event options including food and drink packages or the opportunity to watch performances from a specially constructed swimming pool if one chooses.
As an alternative to other festivals that require hours of standing in the afternoon heat in order to catch the performers, KAABOO Del Mar promises indoor climate-controlled areas and seating areas with views of the stages, emphasizing that comfort can be as much a part of the experience as the entertainment. As the ultimate testament to that dedication, a quick search of others’ experiences at Kaaboos past will reveal a string of pleasantly surprised accounts of pristine bathrooms with actual sinks and toilets.
In all, KAABOO Del Mar continues to build on the path it set out on four years ago of being a festival that caters to a palette of tastes in the indulging of the senses.
While the festival doesn’t offer camping, it does boast a list of hotels and resorts that can be reserved with no booking or resort fees through KAABOO’s website. AirBNB and every popular hotel chain are also present throughout the San Diego area.
Southwest Airlines and Kayak.com turn up a number of round trip options in the sub-$300 range if flying from Reno into San Diego International Airport just 20 miles from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Flights from Reno to LAX, a two hour drive from the fairgrounds, are less than $200 round trip.
And those with a little more time might consider the nine-hour drive down scenic Highway 395 between Reno and San Diego that passes three national parks as well as mountains, lake and wine-rich towns along the way.
For complete lineup, ticketing and VIP options, visit KAABOODelMar.com
— Shaun Astor