KAABOO Del Mar is only in its fourth year but has the stature of a festival veteran. The unique San Diego Festival is so much more than just music, it is an experience. The festival hits all five of your senses with some of the biggest names in music, dancing everywhere, delicious food, hilarious stand-up comedy, beautiful artwork, a vegas style swimming pool, a late night silent disco, and more.
FestivalsForLife was lucky to be a part of this one of a kind weekend! These were our highlights.
This years lineup had over 75 different acts ranging from the 60s to today’s biggest artists.
We started the first day off with some early 2000’s throwbacks as Nelly kicked things off at the Grandview stage. Nelly played hit after hit including Hot In Here, Grillz, and Shake Your Tailfeather. The Country Grammer rapper even threw in some hits for other rappers too.
Following Nelly, we took a time machine back to middle school and rocked out with Jimmy Eat World. The band was filled with energy and a crowd that let loose like the old days!
Later in the day, we checked out funk legends Tower of Power. The Oakland based band that formed in the 60’s attracted one of the older crowds by age, but one of the youngest in spirit! Tower of Power turned the Del Mar Fair Ground into a dance party!
At sunset, we caught the end of Halsey’s act and were graced by a surprise appearance from G-Easy, as the two performed their hit “Him and I.”
Post Malone played on of the final shows of the evening. This was our first time seeing him live, and his mix of rap, r&b, grunge, and country was unlike anything we’ve ever heard. It was clear that Post Malone has been rocking 2018, as the show seemed to pack one of the biggest audiences of the Festival.
For the finale, Foo Fighters rocked out, playing many of their classic hits. The highlights of the show were when drummer Taylor Hawkins rose high above the stage and played an epic drum solo and when frontman David Grohl took over the drums as Taylor Hawkins busted out a cover of Under Pressure. What a way to end the night!
The second day of the festival did not disappoint. The beginning of the day was filled with a mix of dance-pop, rock, and reggae. We were graced with hits from Bebe Rexa, throwbacks from Atlanta rapper Big Boi (half of the rap duo Outkast), and classic reggae tunes from the Wailers!
The highlight of the evening was Earth Wind and Fire. The band proved to be timeless playing to a crowd of all ages, and everyone singing along! The band concluded there epic night with their smash hit, September, in September. What a time to be alive!
The final show of the night was Vegas-based Rock group Imagine Dragons. The band played their chart-topping songs with bursts of energy as lead singer Daniel Coulter Reynolds ran around the stage. One of the most meaningful parts of the show was when Reynolds discussed his struggle with mental health before playing their song, Demons.
After a two day hangover of amazing music, we braced ourselves for the final day of the festival.
The final day started with the Atlanta based 90’s sensation TLC. The group dominated the stage with their flashy overalls, dance moves, and powerful voices. The crowd was singing along with their classics like No Scrubs and Waterfalls. We Moved Along to The All American Rejects and jumped along to their pop-punk melodies.
Our favorite part of the day was jamming out with the funk band from Long Beach California, WAR. The group graced the Trestles stage playing as the crowd danced to, Low Rider and Why Can’t We Be Friends.
Katy Perry brought the house down closing out the music part of KAABOO Del Mar! The superstar played hit after hit, performing with her one-of-kind flare, and her wild dance crew. Closing out the evening with Firework was the perfect ending to a great weekend!
The food and drinks at KAABOO Del Mar were as good if not better than some of the “food only festivals” we have attended. It featured many great local restaurants as well as festival favorites. It was rare that we found something we didn’t like, but we have to give it up to a couple of our favorite spots!
Local Del Mar restaurant, Posideon had some of the most incredible mac & cheese we’ve ever tasted. Mixing it with shrimp was the perfect touch!
Sweetfin serves up an incredible Spicy Tuna Poke dish, which was a great way to feel a little more healthy during the festival.
Other favorites including the dumplings from Bling Bling Dumplings, the lobster roll from Wicked Maine Lobster, and the live sea Erchin from Broad Street Oyster CO.
There was no better way to wash all this food down that drink from Blue Moon Brewing Company. The wheat beer brewery from Colorado provided their original beer and their new Tangerine IPA all weekend! They also hosted a chill shady spot to hang out at during the day. We always loved stopping by!
Besides hearing great music everywhere you turned, you also saw beautiful pieces of art everywhere you looked. KAABOO Del Mar was like a giant art gallery with tons of talented artists coming in to showoff their stuff. Many of KAABOO Del Mar’s decorations were made by artists during the festival, while audiences stopped to admire their craft. They even had a whole warehouse set up as an art gallery to showcase many different artists. Attendees were able to stroll through it and maybe even get lucky enough to see one of them painting a new piece.
In the festival’s fourth year of existence, they have figured out how to give their fans an epic experience. The logistics were flawless, as it was simple to enter the festival, find a bathroom without waiting in ridiculous lines, and even Uber home. The music was on point with an incredibly diverse lineup that everyone could enjoy. The artwork, amazing food, cooking demonstrations and more just added icing to the already delicious cake. It was a festival that truly did have something for everyone. It’s hard to believe that KAABOO Del Mar will try to top itself next year. We can’t wait to see what they come up with for year five!