AutoMatters & More: The Sound concert venue further expands role of state fairgrounds

Mission-styled The Sound.
Mission-styled The Sound.
(Jan Wagner)
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People have a never-ending, insatiable thirst for more and better entertainment choices in their communities. Today, these choices include movie theater multiplexes, theme parks, sports stadiums, auditoriums and more. State fairgrounds are a typically underutilized entertainment resource, with plenty of underdeveloped real estate. The Del Mar Fairgrounds is taking steps to address that.

Perhaps best known for thoroughbred racehorse meets on its world-famous track, where the turf meets the surf, and the annual San Diego County Fair, the Del Mar Fairgrounds — on behalf of the State of California — has been an entertainment resource shared with not only the greater San Diego County community, but with people across the country and around the world.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association (22nd DAA) purchased the coastal land that the fairgrounds is located on in 1936. The San Diego County Fair (June 7 — July 4, 2023), which dates all the way back to 1880, relocated here, as did the Del Mar Turf Club a year later, “with the famous blue-eyed crooner Bing Crosby welcoming guests through the turnstiles” (https://delmarfairgrounds.com/about-us/). Additionally, throughout the year, the Del Mar Fairgrounds is made available to traveling exhibitions (“Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience:” opens January 27); equestrian events (the inaugural Seaside Equestrian Tour Jan. 25 - March 12), car shows (GoodGuys Del Mar: March 31 - April 2), home and garden shows, and much more.

Spacious two-level concert venue.
Spacious two-level concert venue.
(Jan Wagner)

The Sound is a brand new, world-class, 1,900-person-capacity, $17 million, mid-size concert venue that “will host an eclectic range of public and private events.” The Sound is located on the northeast corner of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Operated by Belly Up Entertainment, The Sound is about to open its doors to the public in February 2023, with a sold-out concert by reggae-music star and 8-time Grammy winning musician, actor, artist, activist and humanitarian Ziggy Marley on-stage, performing a “special tribute to his father, Bob Marley, who would have turned 78 just a couple of days later.”

Recently, The Sound hosted a preview event, where a popular San Diego band performed in a live concert, to introduce us to the mission-styled Surfside Center’s wide-ranging capabilities, including plenty of parking, a spacious pre-show area, seating on two levels, a large stage and dance floor, state-of-the-art audio and lighting equipment, and food and beverage service.

State-of-the-art lighting and sound.
State-of-the-art lighting and sound.
(Jan Wagner)

“Seamlessly integrating current design into historic architecture, the new room amplifies the region’s thriving entertainment scene” with a “seaside vibe.”

“All of us at the 22nd District are thrilled to deliver The Sound to every San Diegan,” says Carlene Moore, CEO of the 22nd District. “We’re especially proud to partner with the great people at the legendary Belly Up venue, a long-time San Diego music company, who will undoubtedly curate the new room with local sensitivity. And, what better performer to start off the music at The Sound than a legend like Ziggy Marley?”

Appetizing food choices.
Appetizing food choices.
(Jan Wagner)

“So many great bands have played the Belly Up throughout the years, and now The Sound provides a really cool next step for these bands as they grow,” says Steve Goldberg, co-owner of the Belly Up. “It’s a natural progression, right in our backyard, where we’ve been booking shows at the fair and the races for years. We’re fortunate to be working with such good, professional partners at the fairgrounds, and we can’t wait to hear the sound of Ziggy Marley coming from this exciting new venue.”

In addition to Ziggy Marley, upcoming concerts include Steve Aoki (Feb. 11), Frias presents Bailazo de San Valentin (Feb. 18), Big Gigantic (Feb. 25), The Flaming Lips (March 6), Jason Mraz with his Superband and Special Guest Gregory Page (March 18 — sold out), Colin Hay with Special Guest Lazlo Bane (April 7) and Sylvan Esso (Sept. 1).

Up-close with the band.
Up-close with the band.
(Jan Wagner)

To learn more about the Del Mar Fairgrounds and The Sound Surfside, visit: https://delmarfairgrounds.com and https://delmarfairgrounds.com/the-sound-opens-doors-february-2023-with-ziggy-marley-on-stage/. Sign up for updates, show announcements, presales, and more at thesoundsd.com.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds is located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, California.

To explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, with the most photos and the latest text, visit “AutoMatters & More” at https://automatters.net. Search by title or topic in the Search Bar in the middle of the Home Page, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes and browse.

Copyright © 2023 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #776r1

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