Kaaboo musical festival's Del Mar return on hold

Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 16:06:33-05

Plans are underway to bring the Kaaboo music festival back to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the next five years.

However, while the festival packs some serious musical punch, some locals are hoping to turn down the sound.

"It was crowded and it was pretty loud, and fairly late," said Sandra Whitson, who lives on a hill overlooking the venue.

She said the activity spilled into her usually quiet neighborhood during the Kaaboo music festival, which took over the fairgrounds for four days last September.

"It grew each day," she said.

The event featured big draws like No Doubt, Snoop Dogg and the Killers. Now, it's planning a return to the fairgrounds this September, headlined by Jack Johnson and the Goo Goo Dolls.

"I think it's more of a positive because it's always nice for the kids to have more things to do around here," said Will Nicholas, a former Del Mar commuter student.

While tickets are on sale -- from $300 to $2,500 -- the event appears to be in flux.

On Tuesday, the Del Mar Fairgrounds board of directors pulled Kaaboo's contract moments before it was supposed to be approved.

The decision came after Del Mar and Solana Beach city officials expressed concerns over noise restrictions written into the deal. The contract regulates how loud the event can be down to the minutes, and cuts off outside noise by 10 p.m.

Whitson said either way, she won't be venturing down the hill to experience Kaaboo at ground level.

"I feel like I'm there every day because I can look down there and I see it and I hear it, live with the traffic," she said.

This is the second consecutive month that the fairgrounds board has delayed approving Kaaboo's contract.

On March 10, Fairgrounds officials issued this statement:

In response to recent queries regarding the event, Founder and CEO of KAABOO Bryan Gordon says, "It is misleading to portray that the 2016 event is on hold. We are moving full steam ahead and are looking forward to another successful year. The finalization and vote on a mutually desired long-term contract is the only element that was postponed in the meeting on March 8, 2016. Both parties desire to enter into that agreement and are in the final stages of working through details to be responsive to constructive feedback from our neighbors in the community."

Tim Fennell, CEO/General Manager of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, confirms with certainty that KAABOO will be returning to the Del Mar Fairgrounds in September, 2016 as previously announced. "We jointly look forward to finalizing the long-term contract that will ensure this exciting event is retained at this venue for many years to come."

Russ Penniman, Board President of the 22nd District Agricultural Association stated, "KAABOO was highly successful in 2015 and was well received by local commerce and concert attendees. Moving forward, we strive to be good neighbors and want to assure that all details are addressed as we continue to work together with our local communities. The 22nd District Agricultural Association and the KAABOO producers and organizers are committed to making this musical celebration Southern California's premiere annual musical event for many years to come."

Additional details will be available soon, with the talent line-up set to roll-out in waves in March and April, 2016. For the most updated information, please visit the KAABOO website: and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.