The founders of KAABOO, a new annual music festival in Del Mar, California, wanted to create a festival like none that had ever been produced before, one that would appeal to a demographic they felt was being overlooked. They turned to LEO Events to stage this first-time festival with an artist lineup that compared with any top-tier festival in the nation. So we said, “Luxury meet festival, now go make beautiful music together”.


If it defies expectation, you should call it Kaaboo.

Envisioning seven stages and nearly a hundred performances, the organizers knew LEO was the perfect partner to handle all production and artist relations. Headliners, including No Doubt, Zac Brown Band and the Killers to name a few, performed on an 80’ x 60’ stage, replete with video screens and audio and lighting tech to wow a 30,000 capacity crowd. More intimate venues hosted performances by smaller-draw artists. We even incorporated a comedy club, built from scratch, and a stage for cooking demonstrations.

The performances of course all came off without a hitch—we’re kind of known for that—but the organizers wanted much more from us: They wanted us to develop “the vibe,” to create, plan and execute a VIP experience for every person who walked through the gates at the festival. Challenge accepted.

The name of the site was our inspiration: Del Mar means “from the sea.” With 200 truckloads of sand, we created a beach—in just six hours. Over the beach, we built a boardwalk covering 23,000 square feet. Designed for quick installation and dismantling, it still took three and a half months to construct. The site was close to the ocean, but we still couldn’t bring it to our beach, so we created Bask, a pool to rival any in Las Vegas and offering a clear view of the main stage.

We then extended the beach vibe to the concessionaires, transforming standard festival fare into a casual culinary experience, offering food not usually found at music festivals. For the upscale demographic, we created a food court with an exclusive feel showcasing California’s food culture with sample small plates from some of San Diego’s best restaurateurs, accompanied by products from local wineries, breweries and distilleries.

The organizers also wanted to incorporate art; we made it happen. Eleven murals were arranged around the grounds, four that were painted over the course of the weekend, turning the muralists into live performers.

The show behind the show.

As wide ranging as the festival attractions were, the logistics were even more overwhelming. Ticketing, parking and shuttles, security, facilities — the tasks seemed endless. And to get them all done, we couldn’t skimp on crew. We had over 55 staffers on site throughout the event; we also managed a team of more than 400 and oversaw the daily labor force of more than 1,500 required to keep everything running smoothly.

There was no skimping on technology, either. For credentials, a wristband—with an RFID chip imbedded in it—was worn by everyone. Even the artists playing the festival needed a wristband for stage access. Next year, attendees will have the option of using their wristbands to purchase food and drinks, play games (with prizes) and interact with social media.

And of course we helped develop an app. But this was no ordinary app. I­t offered more than just performance schedules and maps. Attendees could also: search all concessionaires, get proximity info about all of the festival’s artwork, and buy KAABOO merchandise and have it shipped to their home. The app wasn’t just for the attendees, though. We used it too. It provided a wealth of operational information, so we could track wait-times at the gates and the length of shuttle trips from the parking lots—all in real-time. We also created heat maps to detect capacity challenges or determine which facilities were overtaxed or underutilized.

The first ever KAABOO was a huge hit. Everyone loved it from those who had the experience of a lifetime to those who helped pull it off.

Services Provided: Event Management, Production, Artist Relations, Ticketing, Safety, Food/Beverage Management, Guest Services.