Dart and KAABOO cancel 2020 festival

| 02/09/2019 | 141 Comments
Cayman News Service
Kaaboo Cayman festival

(CNS): The reasons for cancelling the planned return of the KAABOO Cayman music festival in 2020 remain opaque as organisers are still describing the 2019 festival held in February as a roaring success. Jason Felts, KAABOO marketing officer, is insisting that the reason not to bring it back to Grand Cayman “was neither logistics or profitability”. He told CNS, “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.”

It is not clear why the partners, including Dart, have decided not to continue lending their support to KAABOO Cayman.

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.”

Announcing the cancellation, 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.”

Promising the refund of all blind-sale passes and corporate partnerships, he said, “The success of KAABOO Cayman in 2019 as a multi-day, premium music, art and comedy festival has established Cayman’s ability to deliver large-scale events at international standards.”

KAABOO will refocus in its US-based events, he said, adding, “KAABOO Cayman would like to sincerely thank all those who attended, supported and participated in the 2019 event and hopes a precedent has been set for future festivals in the Cayman Islands.” 

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Category: Art & Entertainment, Local News

Comments (141)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I really doubt whether KAABOO Cayman made any money from the past event. The event was really good and for an island of this size, the artists who attended was pretty impressive in terms of album sales – collectively more than 500 million. Consequently, their fees would have been very high. For example, I doubt whether Duran Duran would have appeared for less than US$200k (even though they were already on tour) and they had 11 rooms at the Kimpton for their entourage.

    For those of us who were there, it was a memorable couple of days and extremely well organized. The Police, who rarely attract much praise, were fantastic and there were no queues or disruption as far as I could see.

  2. Natalia M says:

    Good riddance to this foolishness destroying the quaintness of this little place!

  3. Anonymous says:

    God, I hate liars. Just be honest. Tired of the spin bull.

  4. mo' blues says:

    Eric Clapton does a very successful “Crossroads” event – mostly blues interspersed with a bit of other music. I vote they approach him to see if he might be interested ….

  5. Anonymous says:

    I thought it was pretty good, and by the looks of the 1,000’s of people that were in attendance with me, they seemed to enjoy it as well.

    Not sure where all this negativity is coming from.

    It’s a shame it won’t be back in my opinion.

    • Anonymous says:

      aLL Dart wanted to was clear that land and he needed government permission.

      Dart used kabooo and the thought of a concert space to trick government into what he wanted

      Hopefully they read this and listen

      Trust the next hotel will be announced soooooon….. wonder where it will be?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ontop of the bridge on smb we all drive under!

      • Anonymous says:

        Except the land was cleared before Kaaboo was launched, but don’t let the facts get in the way….

      • Anonymous says:

        The land was cleared to build the Four Seasons you halfwit. When they were, quite rightly, refused permission to move the beach rock, they cancelled the four seasons and held Kaaboo there instead. Some conspiracy! Duh.

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s how much money they have, they can spend millions on properties that they don’t even get to do their first OR second choice with and it doesn’t affect them at all. So much money, so many smart and ruthlessly efficient employees (many Caymanian), and no competition. 800 pound gorilla? Try 8,000.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about a blues festival?

  7. Anonymous says:

    From years of observation on this Island, a big decision like this where the reasons are ‘opaque’, usually means the ‘’real’ reason is lurking around the corner.
    Meanwhile in other news, developers have put the ink on a deal on a cleared piece of land at the top end of SMB – only had one careful owner!

  8. V says:

    The Rome he has been trained to serve, the Rome of Augustus and Germanicus, was gone. In its place stood Neronopolis, ruled by a megalomaniac brat.

  9. Mikey says:

    Oh well back to Lion Centre we go……

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sad to hear this. Well, guess we go back to just being an island with overdeveloped land.

  11. Anonymous says:

    and just like that Cayman 27 and KAABOO gone…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thankfully, Cayman’s name will no longer be associated with this event.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So Felts is saying it’s neither logistics (which must have been incredibly challenging) nor profits (they’re probably were not any, but when has that stopped Dart doing anything?); the DART PR says it’s a ‘business decision’ agreed by all, and Felts says he hopes it set a precedent for future festivals.
    what to make of all this then?
    let’s make a tiny leap and go with:
    somebody p*ssed someone off.
    and a new festival (well, the same but probably a different name, maybe ‘BooKaa’) will be here in 2021 or 2022.

    if there were no org issues, and profits were no concern, its usually down to people not liking eachother, maybe 1 partner wanted too much or pushed too far…eitherway its a shame for population, the festival was great and for the Dart group is was probably the most positive feedback they’ve ever had here.


  14. Anonymous says:

    What all the fuss about.?

    This had no use to Cayman. Other than a few persons that wanted to smoke Ganja in public space at a private event.

    Not a single extra $ came into the tills of any business that I know of in Cayman Islands.
    Selfish of you people to think this should be another charity event for a few that want to show off at being at such an expensive waste of time event.

    Bring back a good Cayman Culture event or something that everyone can be proud of and could attend with the whole family.

    Thank you Mr. Dart for making such a good decision. You tried it. It was no good. So you did what any normal business person would or should do.

    Lets see how the next Jamaican singer events will go.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. I know half a dozen people who came to Cayman for the week just for Kaaboo. Spent the rwst of the week diving. Probably dropped 10k each on a week in Cayman…

      • Anonymous says:

        I usually travel to Cayman every February ( been doing so the last 20 years) and last year was the first February I missed as that concert raised prices ridiculously.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry to hear you didn’t make it but that kind of proves the point that it did bring more visitors (and money) to island than usual…

          • Anonymous says:

            Not necessarily- hotels and air raised prices ridiculously high after hurricane damage on other islands and kept it that way even through most of summer.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re so ignorant!

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. It was the best event I’ve ever been to in Cayman. Plenty of Caymanian talent like Danny Loops played too and were incredible. Enough of you petty small mindedness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like Nearly Neal? He was dynamite. Bring back the old Seaview and the concerts there!

    • Anonymous says:

      I bet you didn’t even go yet the only thing you can rant about is “ganja” that wasn’t even consumed out in the open.

      I won’t lie, I came across a few people with a spliff when I went for a walk to decompress from the crowd and you know what? I didn’t even care, I just crossed the street. Somewhere else legalizes every week. Why care anymore?

      I bet you’re a cranky old fart that didn’t even attend, and you’re watching your husband on the porch with his tobacco cig and newspaper.

    • Anonymous says:

      Almost every sentence in this post is wrong. Either you are an average troll, or a very ignorant person.

  15. Anonymous says:

    just goes to show the cost of doing business/living in cayman….
    10,000 folks paying $200-300 a ticket and it is still not viable even with dart involved.
    you want proff that cayman is one big rip-off…you have your proof now.
    and what will ppm do tot ackle the cost of living…….yep nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unna blamin’ Government for this too? Lol. If you give a government total responsibility for your life you become the perfect victim for exploitation and constant dissatisfaction

  16. Anonymous says:

    Given their failed attempt in Dallas, probably wise to focus on their US product.

    • Anonymous says:

      I predict KAABOO will go KAABUST in the US. The event here was fun and I’m glad I went to the one and only edition, but I don’t think their business model is very good. The whole music/food/comedy/indulgences/five senses business was rather silly. Most people who attended would have come for the music – full stop.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Uh huh – and they forced Taste of Cayman to move its date to April to accommodate. Shhmm – hope Taste of Cayman reclaims their date as I will not be attending another April Taste of Cayman.

  18. Anita Motard says:

    And just like that KAABOO Cayman disappeared from FB, Twitter, & IG – like it never existed. I went to 2019 and it was very well attended – the high end ticket areas were full, the event was organized, and it appeared to be a huge success. I don’t know the financials so can’t say for sure. I bet the local Cayman partners & sponsors sensed the success and like sharks smelling blood went after more 💰💵. KAABOO got tired of negotiating with crooks and sharks – and ultimately said Adios! I’m sure there are other beautiful tropical locations that will welcome KAABOO! It’s a loss for Cayman.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Branson can afford it on his own. With such a successful and sustainable business model, I’d imagine he’ll get right on it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great news.

  21. Cayman Rentals says:

    Cayman needs to eradicate Dart

    • Anonymous says:

      Kaaboo gone-clear , CayDart marches on to next monopoly

    • Anonymous says:

      Eradicate Dart and then what? Rely on cruise ships? Politicians?

      Dart is Caymanian. Caymanians made Dart a Caymanian and now everyone has to live with the consequences. Too late peeps. You can’t undo what has been done.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So “successful” they dropped it the second they got the chance

  23. Anonymous says:

    I just won $150. I bet Kaboo 2020 would never happened. Thanks Jason.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The Lord Dart giveth and he taketh away.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Fix the dump. Or are you backing outta that too?

  26. Anonymous says:

    The peasants have upset their overlord with their petulant comments and lack of respect. This’ll teach them! And it also allows him to develop the parcel and / or drag a canal straight across.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if DOE will “forget” to object to the development of this parcel?!! Like how they “forgot” to object to the turtle nesting area on this site being destroyed!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you will find that this was just a set up TO develop the land the way it was always planned!! Clearing, filling, infrastructure , boat access, beach acquisition….all CHECKED.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dart getting ready to expand Kimpton big time with villas, many pools and bars.

        • Anonymous says:

          Plus a marina with North Sound access so we can all finally see what that bridge is for!!

        • Anonymous says:

          The new 50 storey building is the priority. Though not sure where they are going to find all the workers next year. Jamaica?

  27. Anonymous says:

    The Darts Group is about making money- if it is not viable why bother? The other stuff they do for Cayman is just par for the course. That is why they have oodles of money!!

    • Anonymous says:

      They have isles of money because a) daddy invented styrofoam b) Ken used some of that money as seed capital to get into the vulture capital game, making a kings ransom off the Argentines and the Greeks. What he spends here is chump change and doesn’t need to make a profit – it’s about making the island what he wants it to be. We are all living in his sandbox now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh dear, I haven’t seen or heard of any millionaire whose focus in not wanting to make more money, that is how it goes- I am not blaming anyone, just saying………

  28. Anonymous says:

    Maybe DART thought that sponsoring a music festival would get people to roll over and let him build the tower that is just a monument to himself.

    I guess if he can’t have his cake and eat it too then he gets up and takes his toys with him.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Dart seems to be just doing exactly what they want these days… Hey CNS, can you find out what happened to the supposed multi-storey car park they were building for the new fosters store and if that they have complied with planning…. and whilst you’re at it can you please look into whether Big Mac Bush and other politically connected parties have anything to do with that new Dart bar on the beach…. and what the lease is and if stamp duty has been paid – heard on my coconut grapevine that the operators are paying a fortune for it!!!!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Very disappointing, we really enjoyed participating as a vendor and we were looking forward to doing it again in 2020. Guess it’s back to going off island for a decent concert! 🙁

    You’d think Dart could just live up to his 3 year agreement and support this, since our Gov’t seems to give him everything he wants! Do it for the community Big D!

  31. Anonymous says:

    If it was profitable, I’m quite sure Jason would have no trouble finding another local partner to invest, right?

    • Good move says:

      I’m sure Dart knows why and with good reason to not continue this relationship.


      Please don’t be quick to attack Dart this time. Do your research. I’m sure Dart said fool me once but not twice! Well done Dart!

      • Anonymous says:

        What are you talking about? Not to continue a relationship with who? Are you saying the billionaire (Dart) should not have a relationship with the established festival operator (KAABOO) and the billionaire established festival operator (Branson/Virgin) that made KAABOO Cayman possible? That’s enough money and logistics to have an orgy on the moon. What exactly was the problem here?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yo “Good Move” is that a well paid dart pr person here defending dart? Sure sounds like a dart employee to me. im sure anyone would back this festival. I don’t think Branson is the one who fooled dart. I think dart got greedy and saw how successful it was, wanted to own and control it and kaaboo said peace out. Or dart knows they can’t hold to their 3 year commitment they said they made because they know they need to build on the land next to Seafire. Why would they go to the trouble to grade and fix up that land only for a music festival. They knew they wanted to build there. I think its kaaboo who is the one who got fooled. Underestimated the power of dart on island. They run the country. If government really wants it to come back then they will save it. Otherwise we know who really controls this country

      • Anonymous says:

        Pass me a bucket I need to puke.

    • Jill says:

      Anyone have Jason’s phone # or email? I’ll match anyone’s investment up to $500,000

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