The Pros & Cons of KAABOO Del Mar / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant


The Pros & Cons of KAABOO Del Mar

Music festivals are totally my jam. I've covered multiple here on the blog & have attended even more that I never wrote about. I went to KAABOO last year as press & was able to make a second appearance for this year's festivities. If you're interested in attending KAABOO 2018 read through this post to see if it's a good fit for you.

* Disclaimer: KAABOO provided me with a complimentary ticket. All opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure here. :]

kaaboo del mar

The Pros

fall out boy

rooney band

Range of Music

No matter your age or music preference, KAABOO included a range of artists such as Fall Out Boy, Aerosmith, The Chainsmokers, Lenny Kravitz, Rooney, Steve Aoki, & many more. I witnessed teens jamming out to Aerosmith & overheard a gentleman in his 60s tell his companion, "Flo Rida is good. I like this song!"

swell coffee

Variety of Food

Sumptuous delicacies. Top local restaurants & chefs. Craft beer. Exclusive wineries. Whether you were at the Palate Stage or checking out the Rock'n Chef Competition, the options were mouthwatering. Yes, I  bought multiple $7 lattes for no reason other than it tasted delicious & I needed caffeine to make it through the next set.

homer simpson art


Music is art itself, but I love the addition of paintings, sculptures, murals, dancers, & performance artists. KAABOO is basically a massive art gallery in that sense. View art. Buy art. Create art. Fred even participated & drew Homer Simpson on the free for all wall.

kettle jalapeno

Free Stuff

Just like last year, KAABOO was chock-full of complimentary samples, mostly food & little munchies. Music festival grub comes at high prices, so it's nice to have some free options to supplement yourself on.

beach sunset


The festival is hosted at the Del Mar Fairgrounds & Racetrack, which is iconic to Del Mar itself. I go to the Del Mar Fair every summer, so it's a joy being able to visit during a different time of the year. Not to mention, Del Mar is an utterly gorgeous place to be. 

The Cons

craft beer


Festivals in general thrive off of exorbitant prices & you have to take that into account. Not only are you purchasing tickets, but you should also factor in travel, parking, food, drinks, & any other necessary prepping. Beers cost upward of $12 for a cup, while I heard that liquor drinks were $20.

festival audience


The lines this year were noticeably worse compared to 2015. Bathroom lines for women were uncomfortably long. Lines for the Humor Me stage were literally hours long. Saturday was especially terrible.

kaaboo del mar

Car & Foot Traffic

Both car & foot traffic were big issues this year. There was a fracas on Saturday in which four people were arrested & police used pepper spray to disperse the crowd. At the end of the evening, some patrons waited over two hours to get out of the parking lot.

kaaboo del mar

Final Thoughts

Truthfully, I preferred my 2015 KAABOO experience. However, given the opportunity, I would absolutely revisit KAABOO in 2017. It's a new festival & it comes with growing pains. I believe KAABOO has the chance to grow & get better, & you can't do that if you didn't make some mistakes.

* Disclaimer: KAABOO provided me with a complimentary ticket. All opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure here. :]


  1. Nice post!
    This festiva sounds good, love the artist that you mentioned. :)

  2. Even though I love concerts and music in general, I just can't see myself attending these festivals... Firstly because of the prices, and secondly, most of the festivals around me include camping and I'm definitely not a camping type of gal :D If I had the money, I'd go, but I'd definitely stay at a hotel or Airb'n'b :D:D Awesome post! xx


  3. I like art so much and Aerosmith and Lenny Kravitz! But yes, lines and traffic put people off, of course, I wouldn't like as well! But music, yes, definitely!

  4. You had me at free stuff! Great post, I think musical festivals have such a great atmosphere. These photos are wonderful xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  5. This sounds like a great festival! As with every festival almost, I find their prices totally outrageous once you get in the door. But I only attend a festival or two every few years. So it's worth it!


  6. The location is simply stunning and looks like lots of fun! x

  7. Lovely photos! It still looks like you had so much fun! :) xx

  8. This looks like so much fun! Thanks you for sharing these greta shots!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

  9. Oh, it had to be great experience to join this festival! Amazing pictures, it looks that you had a lot of fun!:)


  10. the range of food and music sounds pretty awesome!
    I love music festivals too!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  11. I've never been to a music festival anywhere, the cons scare me a bit too much haha

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

  12. Wow, great post. Thanks for sharing the pros & cons xx


  13. I´ve been wanting to go to am music festival for a long time now. Here in Germany most festivals go along with camping which I´m not a big fan of. I think prices are also a really strong con. Still, I think it´s definitely something music lovers should´ve experienced.
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

  14. Thanks for sharing! I might have to check out this festival in 2017. New festivals are always rough, but you are totally right about the growing pains. I went to Bottlerock in Napa this year and read a lot of negative reviews about the lines and traffic previously, but it seemed like they learned from it and I had a great experience this year!

    xo, Taylor

  15. Great post! I love to hear about the pros AND cons of the really get the whole picture.



  16. The festival looks like an incredible experience, even if there are a few cons! You got some wonderful photographs.

  17. That last pic is awesome! I love the idea of festivals, just not the long lines, especially at food stalls. But there's always good selection of food, fun and music. Great photos girl!

    xx Yasmin

  18. I've only ever attended a music festival once, but I had the best time! I was able to see some of my favourite artists, even meet with some of them and IT was such a fun experience. If given the chance, I'd definitely do it again. I Think the pros definitely outweigh the cons!

    xoxo Rina

  19. KAABOO is especially expensive since it's geared toward a slightly older crowd.

  20. The free stuff is definitely a bonus. :]

  21. Prices are indeed outrageous, but I suppose they need to finance themselves for the next year - since it's only once per year. It's an interesting business. :]

  22. Very fun. Do you enjoy festivals? :]

  23. What festivals have you been to? I bet there are some great ones over there. :]

  24. There will always be cons in life, don't let it scare you out of trying. :]

  25. Absolutely, I think they just need a bit more time. Bottlerock sounds so fun! Did you drink a lot of wine? :]

  26. Exactly, which is something one ought to consider - both sides. :]

  27. Thanks Yasmin. They have a lot of art; I really loved that piece. :]

  28. That's why festivals are great. You get to see multiple artists in one spot. :]

  29. No, I'm actually not a big wine drinker. But while we were visiting the area we did do wine tasting at Sterling Vineyards. They have a great gondola ride!


Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲


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