Waiting for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to take the stage at the 2017 KAABOO Festival

Esai Melendez, Arts/Features Editor

KAABOO Festival, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Sept. 15 -17, 2017

Camaraderie, food, beer, and some of the world’s biggest music artists took center-stage from Friday Sept. 15 to Sunday Sept. 17 at Del Mar’s young, but expanding, KAABOO music festival.

Alan Hickey
All aboard, next stop KAABOO

This year’s headliners included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, P!nk, Muse, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Other acts included Weezer, David Guetta, Ice Cube, Jane’s Addiction, and more. Despite the festival being just three years old, the star power of the attending artists increases every time.

Maria-Camila Murcia
A fan records Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on the first night of the festival
Maria-Camila Murcia
Jane’s Addiction
Alan Hickey
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined the final night at KAABOO

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were arguably the festival’s biggest attraction, put on an outstanding performance. Performing staple hits such as “Californication,” and “Give It Away” to their more modern singles “Dark Necessities” and “Go Robot.” The band still has just as much energy and fun in their shows now then when they were much younger.

Maria-Camila Murcia
Anthony Kiedis, Red Hot Chili Peppers


Alan Hickey
Red Hot Chili Peppers

One of the other headliners, Muse, began their set 20 minutes later than their original 7:55 p.m. time slot on Saturday. Despite starting late, the band gave an amazing performance that captivated the entire audience. Muse had the best special effects on screen compared to other artists throughout the festival.

Alan Hickey
Muse’s Matt Bellamy’s guitar flying through the air during the band’s energetic performance.

With so many vibrant colors and effects, it seemed like the audience was watching two Matt Bellamys, the lead singer/guitarist, singing at the same time. The crowd was moving and singing along to the Muse’s staple songs like “Supermassive Black Hole” and “Uprising.”


“Muse. I’m totally pumped about Muse,” said Nate, a San Diego native,  when asked what band/artist he was most excited to see. “It’s really awesome to see these guys perform. I’m glad about what they’re doing so I can part-take in the experience.”


The KAABOO music festival wasn’t just a local attraction though. Alex and Carolina Cordova, who travelled to the festival from San Francisco, said “We bought our tickets back in April. We’ve been anticipating this for a while.” However, it wasn’t  just Californians attending the festival either.

Alan Hickey
Day 3 at KAABOO

Graffiti artists from around the world attended KAABOO to show off their work during the festival’s art exhibition that went on in Del Mar’s Mattress Firm building. Case Maclaim, a graffiti artist from Frankfurt, Germany, attended KAABOO to show off his art pieces. Another international artist, Bicicleta Sam Freio, came from  Goiânia, Brazil.

Maria-Camila Murcia
Day 2 at KAABOO

Food was also one of the festival’s highlights. From national chains like Chipotle and Dunkin Donuts, to smaller food businesses like Rock n Roll Pizza and Dogtown Dogs, a varied selection  was on every corner and each gathered their share of attention and business. One stand that stood out was Spicy Pie.

Maria-Camila Murcia
Lauren Gray – Spicy Pie

Spicy Pie is a pizza stand business popular for their pepperoni/jalapeno pizza. They have been a staple at  festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Ultra, and Electric Forest. Lauren Gray, an employee for Spicy Pie, said “We attend music festivals from March til New Years.” The pizza lived up to its name and it’s not surprising that they were one of the busiest stands at the festival.


Not only was there music, art and food to keep guests entertained, but comedians and guest celebrities such as Patton Oswalt, Norm Macdonald, and Arsenio Hall made appearances at KAABOO’s Humor Me building.

Alan Hickey
Club Elevate hosted Kap Slap on the Friday night

With the increasing amount of star power that KAABOO showcases  each year, it’s becoming more apparent how  well KAABOO is creating its brand. Be on the lookout for tickets to next year’s festival. It can only get better from this point.