July/August 2015 home page

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Who is Kaaboo?
Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive

Some serious competition for the short-term renters in the Beach Colony. Photo Bill Morris.
Click on image to enlarge.

Scrolling through the website kaaboodelmar.com, I was moved to consult my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, which defines “boodle” as “a collection or lot of persons,” a meaning intensified by the prefix “ca-” as in “the whole kit and caboodle.” So that’s what’s coming to town Sept 18-20, with predicted daily attendance of 40,000.

Accordng to the website, “Kaaboo is everything a typical music festival is not….We’re a new kind of arts and entertainment “mix-perience” designed around comfort, quality and good times.” “Kaaboo” is “a word that comes from whatever the hell we feel like yelling when we’re high on life and having fun.” The new “whoopie” for a mature brand of “yahoo”? “Enjoy grown-up time. Kaaboo is an adult escape with unwritten codes of conduct to match. Not too stuffy. Not too adolescently manic.”

Reassurances of this sort were repeated by a Kaaboo delegation to the June 15 City Council meeting. The “target demographic” ranges from 25 to 55, said spokesperson Julie Coleman, with the average age of the ticket buyer currently 38. Perhaps this is determined by the price of a ticket. The full package “Hang Ten VIP 3-day pass” costs $2499, which includes many extras such as an exclusive VIP prelude on Sept 17 and access to the VIP lounges throughout the fairgrounds. (Hang Five 3-day $799 and Hang Loose Guest Access Pass 3-day $329).

Kaaboo is a production of Horsepower Entertainment, a subsidiary of Madison Entertainment, the talent buyer wing of a Denver-based investment firm. They are teamed with Leo Events which has long and wide experience with managing large events. Del Mar’s share of the take in sales tax is estimated at $70,000. The Kaaboo staff alone accounts for 1000 room-nights in area hotels, which includes a number of days before and after the event. A few hundred VIP pass holders will stay overnight on the infield in upscale tour busses and yurts.

Kaaboo will provide an ”upscale culinary environment” drawing on local restaurants such as l’Auberge’s 1540, Poseidon and Agave. An Indulgences Hall will offer henna tattoos, massages and manicures. Only flushable toilets, no porta-potties. A charitable component will benefit Feeding America – San Diego, San Diego Armed Services YMCA, Surfrider, and the DMVA.

The Noise Ordinance was a dominant topic at the meeting. The list of bands is endless, performing on 7 stages. Outdoor music will run from 12 noon to 10 pm, indoors in Bing Crosby Hall until 2:30 am. Dwight Worden pointed to the difference between average decibel levels recognized in the Ordinance and sound peaks and nuisance noises. Will the sound technicians be part of the Kaaboo/Fairgrounds team or attached to the particular bands? Terry Sinnott cautioned that we cannot rely on sound engineers to monitor decibel levels, since they are mostly deaf and tend to turn the volume way up. We need to have “normal people” as a control. Julie Coleman and Becky Bartling, Deputy General Manager of the Fairgrounds, will be there, they said, with earplugs, but normal.

Head of security at the Fairgrounds Pat Kerins and Lt Mark Moreno of the County Sheriff’s office in Encinitas reported that over 70 deputies will be on duty, with two each in Del Mar and Solana Beach in addition to the regular one in each. City Manager Scott Huth said the City would still be at a High Summer level of security staffing.

All on-site parking will be pre-paid and other attendees kept well informed so that no one will drive to the Fairgrounds who won’t find a place. It was stressed that managing exit traffic is as important as entering. Robin Crabtree spoke for a number of residents concerned about noise and late-night traffic. She said she would like a community meeting, and Julie Coleman said she would like to arrange for one or more.

Richard Earnest said this event is a good challenge for Del Mar, a test run for our hosting the Breeders Cup in a couple of years. All agreed we need detailed records and impact reports so that the City learns from the Kaaboo mix-perience. Council members thanked Julie Coleman and Kaaboo, saying they were reassured and looking forward to a success for all involved.

“Sometimes you’re not ready to shut it down. No problem, stay for Encore, KAABOO’s late-night dance party open from 10:00 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.” www.kaaboodelmar.com/the-experience/encore
Click on image to enlarge.

Community meeting: Kaaboo, Monday, August 3, 2015, 6 to 7 pm, Council Chambers.


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