KAABOO Music Festival returns for its three-day event for the 5th consecutive year. Filled with music of all eras and genres, art of all styles, food of all flavors, and laughs to be had at the Humor Me Stage. There was never a moment with nothing to do.
The weekend started off and fit the beach vibe of the festival with So-Cal native, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. Andrew set the tone for the day which was full throttle energy. From jumping off a full size piano to ending his set on an inflated Unicorn and riding through the crowd, he really set the stage for high expectations.
One of the few females performers of the festival was Maren Morris, who brought girl power, pop and country music. She opened the show with “Girl” the first song on her new album and hit hard with her electric guitar. The audience seemed to know every word to every song, especially during her hit single, “The Middle”.
Headliner Wu-Tang Clan came out for their 20th-anniversary reunion. Unfortunately, the sound for their set left fans screaming “WE CAN’T HEAR YOU!” as the microphone volume was very low. It did not stop them from performing at their fullest and filling the air with smoke from their oversized blunts. The crowd went wild for their classics “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ With”.
Switchfoot had a full house for their hometown show. Lead singer Jon Foreman was thriving off the crowd’s energy, spending more time in the crowd than on stage, you could see just how much a home show meant to him. Foreman created an intimate setting asking the crowd to sing along “campfire” style. He mentioned that on tour the band always dreams of performing at home in San Diego, and conveyed that what we were experiencing was just that, a family singing along at the beach around a fire.
Cheat Codes brought the wild to KAABOO. Within seconds of the first song, dollar bills were shooting into the crowd and the fans poured in. Everyone and I mean everyone was dancing, jumping, and going all out for this set. Cheat Codes was feeling the energy and kept saying “We just want to be with you!” as Trevor Dahl made his was into the crowd multiple times to vibe and sing to the fans. From young to older, this set brought people of all ages together for a real festival experience.
KAABOO hit hard on it’s last day with Mumford and Sons closing out the festival. Playing hit after hit on an extended stage that brought the band closer to the crowd, Mumford and Sons left us wanting more guitars, banjos, and kick drums. An amazing end to an era of KAABOO in Del Mar as the festival announced it will now be moving to a new venue in the heart of San Diego at Petco Park.
Known for incredible art, KAABOO did not disappoint this year. Returning Artist Brett Crawford’s whimsical storytelling art can be seen all over the festival. With interactive photo opportunities and bright colors, his art is “classic” KAABOO art that we have seen over the past years. His art stood out and had people of all ages stopping to admire his creations.
The show stopper of the festival was an interactive installation “LUNAR PORTAL” complete with hidden crystal grids created by Carly Ealey, Madeleine Tonzi, and crystal/energy work by Rachel Lorraine Crawford. This beautiful installation had a line all three days and really engaged the crowd. With details around the entire installation in addition to the sound healing, cleansing, and cord-cutting this was truly a magical experience that transported you into another dimension.
KAABOO isn’t your average festival, it is a festival designed for all ages. From comedy to classic artists, KAABOO truly offers a wide variety of experiences while maintaining that relaxed So-Cal vibe. We can’t wait to see what KAABOO has in store for us in its next year.
Here are some more photos of the festival:
Words by Bryana Ashley
Photos by Naz Massaro
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