KAABOO chief hopes to bring festival back to Cayman

Jason Felts, who brought the KAABOO festival to Cayman in February, has taken over the helm of KAABOO and said he hopes one day to bring another festival to the island, although it won’t be any time next year.

Felts announced on 18 Sept. that he had acquired ownership of the KAABOO brand and its assets through an affiliate of Virgin Fest, the music festival arm of the Virgin brand. Felts had previously been a minority partner with KAABOO and its chief branding officer.

“It was originally my brainchild to bring KAABOO to the Cayman Islands,” Felts said by phone, while waiting for a plane in Los Angeles. “Now that I control the brand, if we ever do any festival in the Caribbean, my first call will be to Cayman.”

In addition to KAABOO, Felts is also the founder and CEO of Virgin Fest, an event that he calls “purely a music festival” geared toward a young demographic. KAABOO, on the other hand, he said, incorporates music for a more adult crowd along with comedy acts, gourmet food and a fine arts element.

The first Virgin Fest is planned for next year. Felts said he intends to grow both brands. KAABOO expanded not only to the Cayman Islands this year, but to Dallas, Texas, as well.

The original festival finished its fifth annual run in Del Mar, California, in September. It will move to nearby San Diego next year.

He said the decision to cancel KAABOO Cayman 2020 was made by the original owners of KAABOO, Bryan Gordon and Seth Wolkov, and Dart Enterprises, the two controlling entities of the local festival.

“I think Dart has been unfairly targeted,” Felts said of the decision. “Priorities changed for the original owners. They made the decision with Dart not to have the event in 2020.”