Solana Beach council hears noise, traffic mitigation plans for Kaaboo festival


As part of an ongoing effort to address community concerns about September’s three-day music festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Kaaboo organizers gave a presentation during the May 27 Solana Beach City Council meeting.

Event organizers have already given presentations to the 22nd District Agricultural Association Board, which governs the state-owned facility, and the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board. They plan to make a similar presentation to the Del Mar City Council.

“I think there’s some misunderstandings in the community about what we are,” said Julie Coleman, of Denver-based The Madison Companies, LLC, the company that’s producing Kaaboo. “This is not your typical music festival. This is a world-class music, entertainment and arts event at the fairgrounds.”

Described on the event website as a “mix-perience,” Kaaboo is expected to attract about 40,000 people per day during its run, from Sept. 18-20. A small VIP reception is also planned for Sept. 17.

The festival will feature more than 100 performances on seven stages. The lineup includes a variety of music genres with acts such as No Doubt, The Killers, Zac Brown Band, Train, Snoop Dogg and Foster the People. The festival will also offer comedy acts, an art fair, massages, hair and nail services, and food and beverages.

Single-day tickets are not being sold. Prices for three-day passes range from $199 to $2,499, but many of the lower-priced options have already sold out. VIP experiences such as full-service, on-site lodging are offered for as much as $12,000.

The festival is geared for people ages 25 to 55, Coleman said. She noted that the average ticket buyer is 38 years old.

“This is not your typical music festival where people come in and party,” she emphasized.

To prepare for the event, organizers have met with representatives from the fairgrounds and the cities of De Mar and Solana Beach to develop plans to mitigate noise and traffic.

The event must adhere to local noise ordinances.

To help reduce sound, Coleman said organizers are working with a national sound engineering expert to conduct testing and develop a plan to mitigate noise levels in the neighborhood. Outdoor stages will be directed away from the surrounding neighborhoods, while temporary insulation will be used to keep sounds from indoor performances at a minimum.

Outside entertainment will end at 10 p.m. Indoor entertainment will end at 2:30 a.m.

A team including 10 traffic deputies and 60 traffic controllers will help alleviate traffic.

Attendees must purchase on-site parking passes in advance. Those without prepaid parking passes will have to use off-site lots. A free shuttle service will be provided from the Solana Beach train station.

Event organizers have partnered with public transit providers to offer bundled transit with admission. Attendees who arrive with three or more people in a vehicle will receive food tickets and late-night party discounts. A free bike valet will also be located near the event entrance.

Safety is a top priority, Coleman said, so Kaaboo will have its own emergency services personnel and resources will not be pulled from local communities. She added that the organizers are working with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department to make sure personnel are aware of and understand the plans they have in place.

“The Madison Companies is well known for our commitment to working with communities and neighbors,” Coleman said. “We adhere to community standards. We look forward to working with the neighbors to make sure that they look forward to this each year.”

The event is expected to generate approximately $1.5 million in sales tax.

Event organizers have already booked more than 500 room nights in Solana Beach hotels, Coleman said. Kaaboo will also employ about 2,500 people from the local area.

Coleman said she expects the event to not only bring an economic boost to the community, but also raise the profile of Solana Beach and the surrounding communities. A study of a similar event in Delaware, she said, contributed more than $68 million to the regional economy and created the equivalent of 579 full-time jobs.

“We hope we can do that as well,” Coleman said.

The event will also benefit local charities.

Organizers are donating $1 per pass and matching contributions to Kaaboo’s charitable program, “Kindness.” Funds from a silent auction at the VIP event will also benefit the program.

Funds raised will benefit Feeding America San Diego, San Diego Music Foundation and Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego County Chapter. Kaaboo organizers hope to donate at least $100,000, Coleman said.

In addition, organizers have agreed to donate more than 2,000 cubic yards of sand to Fletcher Cove to help replenish the beach.

“I appreciate you being here,” said Mayor Lesa Heebner. “There were some concerns, and I’m very impressed with how you have dealt with them. You’re addressing them very responsibly and cooperatively. I appreciate it.”

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For information about Kaaboo, visit