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Festival Preview, Music

5 Can’t-Miss Artists at Kaaboo Del Mar 2015

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) –


By now, we know what to expect from an average music festival: dirt, grime, sub-par food & drink, involuntary piggybacks to sweaty crowd-surfers and a parade of bands you’ve never heard of, peppered with the handful you have.

But what if there was a festival that called a cliché a cliché and offered something more refined? It does exist, and it’s called Kaaboo Del Mar. Here’s how they put it: “[Kaaboo Del Mar is] an adult escape, uniquely curated to appeal to all five of your senses, with world-class music, dancing, incredible cuisine, craft libations, inspiring contemporary art, and personal indulgences.”

Kaboo goes down the weekend of September 18th at Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds in San Diego. Amidst the handmade pork-belly bao and the craft beer from some indie bassist’s garage, there’s also music. Tons of it. Kaboo’s lineup is as stacked as it is diverse. Know of any other festivals with both Bonnie Raitt AND Snoop Dogg in the lineup? Us either. So do yourself a favour and don’t miss these key acts.

No Doubt

If you’re over the age of say, 25, No Doubt were a fundamental part of several of your summers, and maybe one or two of your breakups. The reason you need to catch their set? The band doesn’t really have new material to tour from, and Tragic Kingdom – the album that launched into into the stratosphere – turns 20 this year. The Socal band has been playing the album in its entirety at select dates, and we’re thinking another good place to do that is at an outdoor festival in Southern California.


With as solid a discography as they have, Austin, TX’s Spoon could have just rested on their laurels. Instead, they went ahead and reinvented themselves with 2014’s They Want my Soul. The album is a startling combination of upbeat, peppy, weird and haunting – an oddly perfect soundtrack to summer’s dying days.


More of a movement than a band, Ozomatli is a U.N. of awesome, with a fierce combination of salsa, hip-hop, reggae, funk and soul. Members come from all over the planet, with a singular message of social and international justice, through the togetherness only music can provide. Prepare to have your socks knocked clean off.

Rodrigo y Gabriela

While we’re on the subject of socks knocked off, let’s talk about Mexico’s Rodrigo y Gabriela for a sec. Armed only with their acoustic guitars and sheer ferocity, these two are absolute monsters on stage. Come for their spectacular energy, chemistry and flamenco mastery – stay for the Metallica covers. Seriously.

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Hip-hop rarely gets as soulful as it does under Michael Franti. For almost a quarter century, the Oakland emcee’s albums were custom built for the festival experience – engaging, melodic and chill as hell.


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