Del Mar Kaaboo music festival planners discuss Carmel Valley’s traffic, noise concerns

After hearing concerns that Kaaboo, September’s three-day music festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, might turn into a wild, raucous Burning Man where the turf meets the surf, concert representatives are doing public outreach to help put neighbors at ease.

Julie Coleman, of the Denver-based Madison Companies putting on Kaaboo, visited the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting on April 23 to explain what the Sept. 18-20 concert event really is.

“People were worried that it was going to end up being a very alcohol-intensive event with a lot of kids,” Coleman said. “We’re trying to target an older demographic with a lot of high-end art, food and a more diverse lineup.”

She said the average ticket buyer is 38 years old, and prices for three-day passes range from $199 to $2,499. VIP experiences like full-service, on-site lodging are offered for as much as $12,000.

Kaaboo’s lineup includes more than 100 musical acts including No Doubt, The Killers, Zac Brown Band, Snoop Dogg, Foster the People, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Spoon, The Roots, Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and Slightly Stoopid.

The Kaaboo comedy club will feature comedians like Joel McHale, Lewis Black, Anthony Jeselnik, Jeff Garlin and Tim Meadows.

Coleman said the festival will not only bring a huge economic boost to the area, but it has made a commitment to give back to local charities. One dollar from every pass sold will be split among Feeding America San Diego, the San Diego Music Foundation, Operation Amped, and Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter. Attendees have an opportunity to make an additional charitable contribution when buying passes, and Kaaboo will match every such contribution made.

To address traffic impacts on the neighborhood, Coleman said the festival has planned many traffic reduction measures. On-site parking passes must be purchased in advance, and off-site shuttles will also be used, as well as a bike valet.

As for noise concerns, all outdoor concerts will end by 10 p.m. and late-night shows will all take place indoors.

Kaaboo will have its own emergency services personnel, so they will not be pulling from local resources, Coleman said.

In an effort to attract an older, more affluent crowd, Coleman said every detail has been designed for a clean, comfortable festival experience with fewer lines, ample seating areas, restaurants and service plazas.

“They want a place to sit down, they don’t want to use a porta-potty, and they want to eat good food,” Coleman said.

Atypical music festival indulgences to be found at Kaaboo include massages and hair and nail services. People can enjoy a contemporary fine arts show with a glass of handcrafted small-batch bourbon, drive golf balls on a simulator and even do some virtual surfing.

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