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Kaaboo’s VP of Marketing Emily Byer on the Festival’s Beginnings and What Attendees Can Expect for Year Three


Kaaboo’s VP of Marketing Emily Byer on the Festival’s Beginnings and What Attendees Can Expect for Year Three

KAABOO Del Mar prides itself on being a different type of festival. All forms of artistic expression are offered to those who attend this self-proclaimed “festival for adults.” For its third year, the creators of KAABOO are bringing guests A+ talent, food and drink, and art to Southern California. Each day of the three-day fall festival will feature comedians and musicians spanning every genre you can think of.

This year’s musical headliners include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink, Muse, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Featured murals and installations, exhibit galleries, and exhibiting artists will also be on-site for explore.

With just about two weeks before the big event, we spoke with Vice-President of Marketing for KAABOO Emily Byer about how she became involved with KAABOO, how the festival came together, and what attendees can expect this year.

With over 12 years of experience in brand development and marketing strategy, how did you get involved with KAABOO?

My background has been in marketing for hospitality and luxury property. Prior to KAABOO, I was working for its father company doing other projects including a winery in Napa, fine art storage, and some hotels. That’s where my background was, and when our owner Brian Gordon had his eye on starting KAABOO he asked me to do the marketing for the event.

How did KAABOO come to life?

Our CEO Brian Gordon has an entrepreneurial background, he also has a passion for high-class hospitality and for music.  He had this concept in his mind, for the lack of a better term, a festival for adults. It was important to set out and find the right venue, and when the Del Mar Fairgrounds presented itself it was the best place. It’s been really fun to see the concept and the dream come to life. Each year we try to tweak the guest experience and make it more enjoyable for everyone attending.

In its three years, KAABOO has always hosted a very eclectic lineup of musical performances. Was it important in the creation of the festival to offer this?

Yes. Our talent team works very hard at bringing in a diverse line-up. Part of the mission of KAABOO is to have a multi generational lineup, to attract anyone from that college age through adults. By offering such a diverse line-up we can appeal to all fans.

If you could create your dream headliners for the festival, who would you choose?

Oh gosh, that’s a tough question. Even though they played KAABOO last year, I would say Aerosmith. They put on an amazing show. Seeing them last year was definitely a bucket list moment.  And probably The Rolling Stones. Their such a big show and act.

KAABOO also has a unique art and culinary experience that stands out from other festivals.

For the art component, our program is unlike any other festival art experience. It’s one of the elements that we feel really sets us apart. Murals are painted either shortly before KAABOO, or here at KAABOO. All of them are painted on archival canvas and ultimately sold. We also have a contemporary art fair inside of the building. There will be over 80 artists and galleries

Our culinary experience we call “Palate” is all gourmet bites. Plus we will have craft libations, along with craft beer and wine. There’s very much a food and wine festival feel to it.

It’s a very well rounded event. 

KAABOO is really leading with more than the music. The art and culinary experiences are also leading factors attracting people to KAABOO. We might have people coming for the food and drink aspect, with the music coming second.

What do you hope for the future of KAABOO?

We are super excited for year three, and hope to expand KAABOO to other venues. Executing a festival of a similar style in a different location. We can’t wait for everyone to experience this year’s festival. We have just a couple weeks left.

KAABOO will be held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, September 15-17. For ticket info and full festival lineups go to kaaboodelmar.com




Ashley is a social media community manager and artist, living in Los Angeles, CA. With a degree in Mass Media Communications, Ashley likes to use videos, photos, and essays to connect people with what’s happening in the world.

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