San Diego will soon be invaded by dozens of bands that will be performing at the first KAABOO music festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
The festival from Sept. 18-20 will feature huge acts like The Killers, No Doubt and the Zac Brown Band, and will have no fewer than 50 supporting acts including DJs and comedians.
That’s right, some of comedy’s funniest acts, including Joel McHale, Anthony Jeselnik, Tig Notaro and Lewis Black to name a few, will be on stage to bring a new element to the proven, yet repetitive, rock festival atmosphere of the past two decades.
Eddie Murphy, Louis CK, Richard Pryor and Chris Rock all had monster shows over the years that changed the way comedy is digested. TV specials, movies and live comedy shows have become a staple and comedians like Jeselnik have parlayed that popularity into a strong following. That following will be in attendance at this year’s KAABOO festival and they’re eager to get some laughs in between the raucous music sets that run throughout the three-day festival.
So does a comedy act at a rock festival make sense? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but I feel it’s very much in the same wheelhouse. Hear me out.
Have you ever been to a comedy show in a big theater? Not the Comedy Store, but venues like Symphony Hall when Eddie Izzard played there a few months ago. The place was loud, cheering and loving his greatest hits. The people wanted to feel good and forget about their lives for an evening and that’s what comedy, as well as rock ‘n’ roll, provides. It’s the perfect pairing.
A big difference for the comedians is the enormity and the stage times. There’s something comforting for performers about a small, dark comedy club where they can hang out at the bar and eventually make their way on stage to engage the intimate crowd.
At a festival like Kaaboo, sets can be at mid-afternoon and half the crowd is waiting for them to leave so they can watch the next band take the stage. Most of the comedians I have spoken with are excited to have the opportunity to engage a new audience and win some new fans. Hopefully this is just the first of many KAABOO festivals in Del Mar and we can all watch as the comedy aspect grows and prospers.
Comedy set times:
Friday Sept. 18
Anthony Jeselnik, 4:45-5:45 p.m.
Chris D’Elia, 6:45-7:45 p.m.
Lewis Black, 11 p.m.-midnight
Saturday Sept. 19
Hasan Minhaj, 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Ron Funches, 4:15-5:30 p.m.
Jeff Garlin, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Joel McHale, 11 p.m.-midnight
Sunday Sept. 20
Iliza Shlesinger, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Tim Meadows, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Tig Notaro, 5:45-6:45 p.m.
To see the comedians’ profiles and a full schedule and times for KAABOO, go to kaaboodelmar.com