Jason Felts’s field of dreams is about to be filled with 10,000 concertgoers.
The point man for KAABOO figured if he built a festival venue and promised a good show, people would come. It appears he was right.
Late Wednesday, Mr. Felts said fewer than 100 passes were left for the two-day event which will feature such bands as Duran Duran, Blondie, the Chainsmokers and Jason Derulo. The ambitious undertaking, backed by such companies as Virgin Produced, Dart Enterprises, BritCay and Digicel, also includes a slate of comedy acts – Norm Macdonald, Wanda Sykes, Kevin Nealon and more – celebrity chef demonstrations and an art exhibit along with live mural painting.
It is not the biggest event ever mounted in Cayman – Pirates Week reportedly draws 35,000 people over five days each year – but KAABOO is the largest concert production the island has seen. The festival is expected to generate nearly $14 million in local business activity. Officials have said about 800 people are being employed to work the event. There are more than 160 bartenders alone.
A scaled-down version of the four-year-old KAABOO Del Mar festival, which pulls in 100,000 people for three days, KAABOO Cayman was announced last February as the first in a planned expansion of the brand. KAABOO Texas, the second spin off, will take place in Dallas in May and Felts plans additional sites in the coming years.
Island residents have been able to watch the progression of the festival grounds as the months rolled by, which involved clearing heavy vegetation from 37 acres just north of the Kimpton SeaFire resort, landscaping the area and installing plumbing and electrical lines. In recent weeks, palm trees, shipping containers splashed with murals, tent canopies and performance stages have gradually been added.
All that is left is to add the people.
That will begin happening at midday on Friday, with the first performances starting at 1 p.m. or shortly after. In all, 25 acts will perform on the two main stages. Eight comics will do stand-up in the comedy tent. Ten different culinary demonstrations will take place in the cooking venue and a host of DJs will spin tunes in the BASK nightclub area (separate admission) from 1 p.m. on.
The weather gods are expected to cooperate. Forecasts are for mild temperatures and only a slight chance of rain each day.
Band performances run continuously on alternating stages from 1:15 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. on Friday, and 12:10 p.m. to midnight on Saturday.
Comedy shows on Friday run periodically from 3:35 p.m. to 1 a.m. and from 1:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Saturday.
Periodic culinary demonstrations are from 1:45-7:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30-6 p.m. Saturday.
BASK DJ performances run Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
There is VIP and limited pre-paid parking ($25 next to Public Beach), as well as shuttle service from a number of locations. Here is a rundown:
Seven Mile Beach shuttle bus
- Recommended by organizers as the best option.
- Shuttle stops: Margaritaville, Mitzi’s and the Westin resort
- Cost: US$10 round trip, per person, per day
- Frequency: Running continuously during KAABOO hours
Camana Bay park and ride
- Cost: US$10 per car to park at Camana Bay
- Directions: Park in south Camana Bay, entering through Nexus Way, then take a shuttle to KAABOO.
Drop-off: A taxi or public bus will be able to drop you into the KAABOO Transportation Hub which is on site and next to a gate that gets you straight into KAABOO.
No private vehicles
Private vehicles will not be permitted to drop off/pick up in the KAABOO Transportation Hub.
Access to BASK requires an additional pass. As of Wednesday, day/night passes for Friday were sold out. Day passes for Saturday were still available for $37.50 on the KAABOO website.
Except for VIP ticket holders, access to the Humor Me comedy club is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved tickets can be purchased for guaranteed admission. Prices range from $10-$50. Four-person tables can be reserved for $200-$400.
An exhibit of local Cayman art is featured at the center hub of the festival grounds, between the two music stages. Live painting of murals will be taking place adjacent to the exhibit.
Arrive early if you want to hear local performers Rico Rolando, Suckerbox, the Lion Fish, Shameka Clarke and Matt Brown. They will have the first spots of the afternoon on stage.
The central Mesa and beachside Oasis areas offer a space to rest and relax in the shade.
The rows of toilets may look a bit like porta-potties, but these are solar powered, vacuum flush toilets, which are more ecologically friendly and far easier on the nose.
If you have half-price passes for kids, ages 3-10, make sure to bring a birth certificate or report card to validate the child’s age upon entry. Kids under 3 are free, but noise canceling headphones are recommended for protecting their ears.
Passes that have not been picked up a the Regatta business park box office (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday), can be picked up at the main entrance to the festival. The on-site box office is open Thursday 5-8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Attendees are allowed to leave and re-enter the festival once per day before 8 p.m.
What to bring
- Here are the items you are allowed to bring to KAABOO Cayman:
- Blankets or beach towels
- Bags (under 18 x 12 x 8 inches)
- Empty water bottles
- Go Pros (no poles or extenders)
- Wheelchairs or medical scooters
- Bug spray (no aerosol cans)
What not to bring
- Aerosol containers of any kind
- Animals (except service animals to aid guests with disabilities)
- Fireworks, firearms and weapons of any kind (including parking lots)
- Glass containers or any kind
- Illegal substances, drugs, and drug paraphernalia
- Knives of any length
- Large bags (over the size 18 x 12 x 8 inches)
- Laser pointers
- Lawn furniture, including any personal shades or canopies
- Noisemakers (musical instruments, bullhorns, air horns, whistles, etc.)
- Outside alcohol/flasks
- Professional cameras with lens longer than 2 inches (detachable or non-detachable) and professional recording (photos, video, audio) equipment; this includes any stands, monopods, tripods, attachment sticks, selfie-sticks or commercial equipment
- Signs, flags on sticks or poles
- Unmanned aircraft systems and radio-controlled model aircraft/drones
- Yard games, glow sticks, marker pens, and inflatables
- Chairs, tents, stools or other seating devices*
- Outside food or beverages*
- Prescription drugs, dietary vitamins, foods or beverages*
- Sealed bottles, cans and beverage containers of any kind*
- Skateboards, scooters, or personal motorized vehicles*
*Exceptions will be made for those with medical requirements and/or special needs. Individuals with these special needs should contact a security person at their entry gate for special attention.
KAABOO Cayman prohibits smoking or the use of vaporing or “similar” devices.
All bags and people are subject to search. Metal detectors or wands may be used for screening. Attendees are encouraged to say something if they see something that presents a safety concern. Text 313131 with “KAABOO” and your concern.
Separate containers for aluminum, plastic and waste will be available throughout the venue. Concert goers are encouraged to recycle when possible.
Limited accessible parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the south parking lot, across from the Public Beach lot. All guests must have valid and current Cayman Islands-issued handicap placards, plates and/or permits, as well as the applicable proof that it belongs to them.
The majority of the venue is navigable for people with mobility disabilities via accessible pathways, including the entrances, stages, vendors and activity areas. No scooters or wheelchairs are available on site, but there are recharging stations.
Viewing platforms are available for guests who use wheelchairs, have significant mobility disabilities, or who have difficulty standing for long periods of time. Guests requiring the use of these areas can have one companion accompany them. Access if first-come, first-served.
For additional assistance, call customer service at 233-0700 or email [email protected]
Lost and Found
Located inside the guest services tent, items will also be posted online at kaaboocayman.com.