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KAABOO Cancellation has Cayman ‘Reeling’

Cover Stories 04 Sep, 2019 Follow News

KAABOO Cancellation has Cayman ‘Reeling’

What was billed as a three year commitment has now fizzled with little to no explanation from organizers.


KABOO Cayman - arguably one of the largest and most well produced live events in the Caribbean and certainly one of the biggest in the history of Grand Cayman - has come to a screeching halt.


Massive backdrops, littered with the biggest names in entertainment, supplemented by the sound of music filling the Caribbean sky and topped off with eager revelers, has been replaced by the hum of motorists passing by on the adjacent freeway and the sound of crickets; at least what is left of them after a massive section of land was cleared for last year’s festival.


The partnership between Dart Enterprises, Virgin Media and KABOO was one that brought much excitement and in February of 2019, organizer Jason Felts even told rapper Jah Rule to, “stay in his lane” upon an announcement the rapper was going to have Fyre Festival part 2 as a follow-up to an ill—fated part 1, according to an article on celebrity site toofab.com


However, today it is KAABOO and its absence after such fain-far that is in question, though this is nothing like the colossal failure and ensuing fiasco Fyre Festival left in its wake.


Mr Felts pointed indicated that the decision was made by partners in his remarks regarding the cancellation, stating:


“The event was produced flawlessly… and produced fantastic results with a year one sell out. It was merely a business decision made by the partners.


“After careful deliberation, the partners behind KAABOO Cayman regret to announce that the event will not be returning to the Cayman Islands in 2020, as originally planned,” he added.


The event’s cancellation is eerily reminiscent of the 2010 cancellation of the Jazz Fest in the Cayman Islands. Though the Jazz Fest was an event that had difficulty with profitability and in fact the cost to benefit ration was inverse; not the case with Kaboo, according to Mr. Felts.


At it’s peak there was up to 10,000 patrons at the two day festival and social Media was ablaze with chatter on the heels of the announcement that there would be no KABOO, as persons had already bought tickets; such was the popularity of this production.


There is a post circulating on social media in which the organizers of KAABOO indicate funds will be returned to those whom have purchased tickets.


As the event was well patronized, representatives in the local music industry say it is not a reflection on Cayman’s viability as a LIVE music destination.


Many of the Islands well known musicians chimed in on social media with Barefootman making light of the cancellation quipped:


“Kaboo cancelled after one year. Still going strong after 30 years = Hi Tide, Lammie, Andie Martin, Dexter Bodden, Barefoot Man, SeanB, Suckerbox, Henry Lesly and more….Support our local musicians.

Cayman Islands local band Sucker Box will be performing at Kaaboo in Del Mar California later this year.


A Dart spokesperson said, “We are proud to have been part of KAABOO Cayman 2019, an event which showcased the Cayman Islands to the world and a venue on Seven Mile Beach that provided both visitors and residents with an unforgettable festival experience. Not proceeding with a 2020 KAABOO Cayman event was a business decision agreed by the partners of KAABOO Cayman. We wish KAABOO the best on its US events.”


Felts stated, “After careful deliberation, the partners behind KAABOO Cayman regret to announce that the event will not be returning to the Cayman Islands in 2020, as originally planned.”

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