KAABOO Cayman is not returning in 2020, festival organizers tell Billboard, ending the festival brand’s brief run on the Caribbean island.
A spokesperson for Jason Felts, founder and CEO for Virgin Produced, confirmed the cancellation to Billboard. KAABOO’s five-year-old flagship event in Del Mar, California, is not affected and will take place Sept. 13-15. It’s unclear if KAABOO Dallas will return in 2020 — the website kaabootexas.com now reroutes visitors to the Del Mar festival’s website.
Organizers announced the Feb. 14-15, 2019 Cayman Island festival a year in advance, with backing from the entertainment arm of Virgin founder Richard Branson.
“KAABOO was never envisioned as a one-destination, one-weekend event,” Felts told Billboard in 2018. “In looking at the growth of KAABOO into a multi-event business and as a lifestyle brand, it was important to us to identify destinations that would resonate with the KAABOO fan looking for a more elevated experience. Cayman was the right fit.”
It’s unclear why the event was axed, but emails were sent to purchasers Sunday confirming the cancellation with information on refunds. Real estate developer Dart, a partner in the event, later released a statement saying “not proceeding with a 2020 Cayman event was a business decision. We wish KAABOO the best on its US events.”
“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,” Felts said in his statement to the Cayman Compass. “KAABOO will be returning its focus to its current and future planned US-based events.”
“KAABOO Cayman would like to sincerely thank all those who attended, supported and participated in the 2019 event,” the statement continued, “and hopes a precedent has been set for future festivals in the Cayman Islands.”
When asked if KAABOO might ever return, Felts told the paper he was “not in a position to answer at this time”.