A bright, big and seemingly full moon shined down on the content faces at the Del Mar Fairgrounds - a place that many of us local San Diegans already hold near-and-dear to our hearts.
Those in attendance at this year's KAABOO Del Mar festival on Friday were enjoying an escape from reality while grooving to tunes from the nostalgic nighttime headliners of the show - you know, Hall and Oates, Fall Out Boy, Gavin DeGraw and Jimmy Buffett. Night one wrapped a full day of KAABOO artists of all genres, kicking things into high gear at our once-small-now-big backyard fest. Like a parent to a child that is now talking, walking and making decisions for itself - so are we, San Diegans, to KAABOO. The majority of people seemed proud that our festival had clearly grown in many ways.
After our first taste of something so grandeur and long-awaited, we wanted more. The crowds had already begun envisioning specific areas where KAABOO could be improved upon its return this year. Year one delivered notes of innocence, excitement and opportunity.
Year two, fans knew what they wanted "fixed." They requested: a better local music stage, more bathrooms, air conditioning in the over-heated comedy area, different musical acts, more craft beer, more food variety and so on.
Alas, the people spoke and they were heard - and things did seem much smoother this year.
Traffic was worse, which comes with a growing festival, and spaces were generally more congested, but there was much more organization and preparation apparent. The improvement was seen in quicker bathroom lines, an enhanced local music stage, a larger variety of musical acts, expanded food options, a comedy area with air conditioning and bands that had long-time fans flying out from Colorado, Washington, Texas and Florida to come take part in the sunny, San Diego fest.
KAABOO felt older on the first day. It felt wiser, too. For the most part, the future of the festival is looking bright as the moon did tonight in the crystal clear, Southern California sky.