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Status of this year’s Petco Park concerts and KAABOO and Wonderfront festivals is unclear

KAABOO Del Mar 2019
Shannon Thomas floats in the Bask Swim Club as Andrew McMahon performs on the Sunset Cliff Stage at KAABOO Del Mar on Sept. 13, 2019.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Will the coronavirus silence this year’s KAABOO, other area festivals and Petco Park concerts? That depends who you ask

The fate of two of San Diego’s largest annual music festivals, KAABOO in September and Wonderfront in November, appears hazy. So do the Def Leppard and Green Day concerts scheduled for Petco Park this summer.

“We are still waiting and working with local authorities to see what (things) look like in California and San Diego, long-term. We know that large mass gatherings will be among the last things to reopen in the (state’s) phased plans,” said Wonderfront mastermind Ernie Hahn II. His three-day festival debuted last November, on multiple stages along San Diego’s waterfront. It is scheduled to return, at least for now, in November.

Meanwhile, concert industry giant Live Nation is still selling tickets for two concerts at Petco Park this summer — Def Leppard and Motley Crue on July 23, and Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer on July 24. Both those concerts are scheduled for the same weekend as the 2020 edition of Comic-Con, which was canceled on April 18 because of COVID-19 concerns.

Live Nation is also currently selling tickets for 18 concerts at North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, starting with Maroon 5’s tour-opening May 30 show at the nearly 20,000-capacity venue..

“In terms of resuming concerts, as things continue to evolve, we’re monitoring closely. We don’t have any specific details to share just yet,” a San Diego representative for Live Nation told the Union-Tribune, via email.

Petco Park is also the location for the 2020 edition of KAABOO, which is set to debut at the stadium in September after being held annually in Del Mar from 2015 to 2019. This will be the first year the festival is presented in a partnership between the Los Angeles-based Virgin Fest and the San Diego Padres baseball team.

The Padres have yet to play a 2020 season game at Petco Park, or anywhere else, while the coronavirus-fueled shutdown of Major League Baseball continues. On Monday, MLB proposed starting the season in July in empty ballparks without fans.

KAABOO, which typically announces its music and comedy lineups in March, has yet to do so for this year’s edition. Moreover, tickets are not currently being sold for KAABOO, although discounted early-bird packages went on sale last fall and were available until earlier this year.

The KAABOO website and social media accounts do not appear to have been updated since March 16. A post on that date from the producers indicated KAABOO was “forging forward to thoroughly entertain you this summer,” while “closely monitoring communication from the CDC and World Health Organization, as well as federal, state and local officials.”

“The well being of our guests, artists, team and partners is top priority for us,” the message says. “We look forward to celebrating the end of social distancing with you this September.”

KAABOO representatives have not responded to requests from the Union-Tribune for an update. However, a new statement from the Padres — which own and operate Petco Park — suggests that KAABOO and this summer’s two concerts at Petco Park are likely to be rescheduled.

“The Padres are in regular contact with health and governmental authorities during this time to ensure that we are taking the necessary precautions to provide a safe environment for our guests upon the resumption of games and other events at Petco Park,” Padres President of Business Operations, Erik Greupner, said in an email.

“We are also actively working with our concert and festival promoter partners to reschedule their summer events and develop plans for those events that ensure the health and safety of all those who attend. When we have more definitive information regarding the rescheduled events, we will work with our partners to communicate our plans publicly.”

Meanwhile, the status of two other annual festivals in the region is also unclear.

The third annual Baja Beach Fest in Rosarito Beach was announced on Feb. 4. Pre-sale tickets for the Aug. 14-16 reggaeton and Latin trap music marathon — which last year drew a capacity audience of 30,000 a day — sold-out in just 15 minutes on Feb. 4. That was before a single act for this year’s edition had been announced and none has thus far.

A message now posted on Baja Beach Fest’s website reads: “Official lineup & pass drops (announcements) have been postponed until further notice.”

There is also no word as yet about the status of the 2020 fall edition of CRSSD Festival, the twice-yearly electronic music festival that debuted at San Diego’s Waterfront Park in 2015.

This spring’s edition of the two-day weekend, held March 7 and 8, drew sold-out audiences of 15,000 per day. It was later determined by local health officials that two people who tested positive for coronavirus attended the March festival.

On April 6, CRSSD Festival announced its 2020 fall edition for Sept. 26 and 27. However, the venue’s website now only refers to the recent March spring edition and appears to contain no information about the upcoming September event.

Representatives for CRSSD Festival and Baja Beach Fest did not respond to requests for comment from the Union-Tribune.


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