The first annual KAABOO Del Mar completely crushed every other Southern California-based music festival in its wake (we’re talking to you Coachella). The inaugural event descended upon sunny SoCal over the weekend of Sept. 18-20, transforming the Del Mar race track into an oasis of music, food and drink that luxury enthusiasts and music lovers alike can fully get behind. Here are nine reasons why you simply can’t miss the second annual fest which—might we add—is already planned (Sept. 16-18, 2016) as the first year was such a staggering success.
- VIPS get a lot of perks. With a Hang Ten pass, you’ll be treated to a preferred-only party on Thursday night featuring special performances; this year Sheryl Crow and Live’s Ed Kowalcyzk played for a select group); on-site valet, a VIP “Superlounge,” a sit-down restaurant with table service; premium restrooms and charging stations; complimentary food and beverages; artist lounge access; a chance for select meet and greets; a concierge service and a welcome gift bag.
- Mercedes-Benz is a sponsor. Just saying. When Mercedes-Benz gets involved, you know it’s going to be a luxury affair. In addition to checking out the on-site cars, Mercedes-Benz guests have their own dedicated lounge. If you drive a Benz to the festival, you’ll also receive special VIP parking adjacent to the entrance (we drove an SL400 convertible down to Del Mar and got a tan on our faces to boot).
- The lineup, well, rocks. For a first-year festival, KAABOO crushed its lineup. Queen Bee Gwen Stefani and her band, No Doubt, headlined, as did The Killers, Snoop Dogg, The Zac Brown Band, Foster the People, Bonnie Raitt, The Roots, Train, Grace Potter, Ben Harper, The Counting Crows, and our personal favorites, Delta Rae and AWOLNation.
- Less lines equals more fun. Located at the historic Del Mar Racetrack + Fairgrounds, just north of San Diego on the Southern California coast, KAABOO is the ideal live music event in the ideal venue because it’s spread out. You won’t feel like people are on top of you, and there is a lot of exploring to be done. You can do so efficiently, as KAABOO is a new model of efficiency, with a site design created to efficiently move guests between performance stages and unique venues. You can bypass the main gate with a KAABOO Fast Pass that lets you get in and onto your KAABOO experience even faster. A limited quantity of Fast Passes will be available when you purchase your pass.
- This is a foodie’s dream. You’l be able to sample the wares of 18 big name local chefs (including fare from places like Herringbone, Searsucker and L’Auberge Del Mar) and try up to 60 different wines and drink champagne. Winning! There’s also a Kaaboo rock ‘n chef event on the Palette stage, as well as celebrity chef demos, chef and artist book signings, surprise musical performances and chef band performances.
- There’s an indulgences area. When in Rome… Indulgences is an indoor area in which KAABOO guests can escape to explore a curated journey through several experience zones: Music & Technology, Sports & Activities, Men’s Gear & Fashion, Women’s Fashion and Women’s Beauty & Day Spa. Along the way, guests can actively participate in product demonstrations, expert consultations, luxury services or relax in several chic lounge areas, including a Bourbon Lounge and a Nordstrom pop-up.
- It’s arty. Take a stroll through the contemporary art fair, where over 80 regional and national artists display their latest installations, paintings, sculptures, photography and jewelry. This indoor arts showcase truly enlivens the senses and leaves you with a festival experience like never before. Who goes to a major concert event and comes home with a new painting for your living room? You do, you cultural superhero!
- There’s Posh Nosh on-site. If you’re looking for something better than an overcooked hot dog, you’re in luck: you have upscale options at KAABOO. In Posh Nosh, its upscale food plaza that offers healthy, flavorful fare in a shaded area with plentiful seating, you’ll find vegan cuisine, gluten-free options and even fancy French fare.
- Live the luxe lifestyle with your own private cabana. KAABOO wouldn’t be the perfect SoCal weekend getaway if you weren’t able to watch your favorite band put on an amazing set and enjoy some beach time. Bask in the sandy beach area at the Sunset Cliffs main stage that offers premium cabanas and chaise lounges with umbrellas for rent. Enjoy a direct stage view with a pool and an exclusive bar. But most of all, Bask provides the opportunity to kick back, soak in the scene and enjoy everything that KAABOO has to offer—sand, sun, friends and great live music.