UPDATED: KAABOO reveals eclectic lineup for Cayman festival

KAABOO is landing in Cayman with a loaded lineup.

The field of performers for the first KAABOO Cayman event was announced on Tuesday, and it will be headlined by The Chainsmokers, Duran Duran and electro house music artist Zedd. Jason Derulo, Bryan Adams, Counting Crows, Flo Rida and Blondie will also be among the featured performers.

Jason Felts, KAABOO’s chief brand officer, said that he popped a bottle of champagne at the Kimpton Seafire on Tuesday morning as a celebration for finally being able to announce the lineup.

“It’s so great to actually reveal this,” Mr. Felts said. “It’s been the secret that I’ve been dying to spill. To take all the excitement that’s been building up since we launched, it’s pretty cool.”

KAABOO will be held in Cayman on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16. The concert grounds are currently being constructed just north of the Kimpton.

KAABOO has previously been operated in California to great fanfare, drawing more than 100,000 people to San Diego last September.

The Cayman edition is expected to have about 11,000 attendees, Mr. Felts said, but it will also feature music, comedy, food, drink and art installations. The festival organizers hope to bring something totally unique to Cayman while still staying true to the roots of the template they introduced in California.

“You’re still going to have the same KAABOO experience, which is a focus on customer service and hospitality. But it’s very different,” Mr. Felts said. “Cayman is my second home, and we really wanted to do something that was going to be emblematic of the community, which is very diverse in its music tastes. If you look at our lineup, it’s a combination of bucket list artists and today’s hitmakers. There’s a lot of genres. There’s rock and there’s pop and there’s Top 40. There’s classic rock and reggae.”

Local bands will have a chance to audition to be a part of the lineup. Interested applicants can send an email to [email protected] by the end of June, and selected acts will play as part of a showcase before Mr. Felts and a panel ultimately choose who rounds out the lineup.

The future concert grounds are still being constructed, and Mr. Felts said there is no doubt that they will be ready on time. Parking passes will be provided to people who purchase a certain VIP-level pass, and most concert attendees will be brought to the grounds through a network of shuttle buses.

“We move in and out about 100,000 people in California over the course of a weekend,” Mr. Felts said. “We have a full transportation and logistics team on staff 365 days a year. It’s a science. They’ll work with road authorities to architect the system. Seamless ingress and egress is very important to us.”

Mr. Felts said the early portions of ticket sales have been very encouraging, and he said he “100 percent” expects KAABOO Cayman to sell out.

Wanda Sykes and Saturday Night Live alumni David Spade and Darrell Hammond will be among the featured comedy performers. When they are not laughing or grooving to the music, concertgoers will have an opportunity to sample various foods from local and regional chefs, and Mr. Felts said he hopes that the KAABOO experience will only burnish Cayman’s reputation over time.

“Cayman is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. My focus and goal is that after KAABOO, we’ll really put Cayman on the map as the live entertainment capital of the Caribbean,” he said of the upcoming extravaganza. “This is an annual event. We are committed and all in on Cayman for sure.”

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  1. Why did i click on a thumb down? I prefer laid- back atmosphere of a sleepy island. There is NYC , Vegas and Miami for a grand scale entertainment. Glitter and lighgts of a megapolis don’t belong to a tiny Caribbean islands. It destroys local charm.