After delays related to the pandemic, as well as issues regarding the management contract, the newly constructed concert venue at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, named THE SOUND, is set to open early next year.
While the facility was used in October for a Mainly Mozart performance, the full launch and opening will take place with reggae star Ziggy Marley performing sold out shows on the 3rd and 4th of February. Big Gigantic, an electronic music duo with hip-hop and jazz influences, is scheduled for later that month. Additional acts will soon follow.
Belly Up Entertainment, the booking and marketing division of the Belly Up concert venue in Solana Beach, was initially awarded the management contract in 2018 by the 22nd District Agricultural Association who oversee the fairgrounds. That contract was then canceled when competitor KAABOO filed a complaint. The contract was re-bid earlier this year, and once again awarded to Belly Up.
According to Chris Goldsmith, president of Belly Up Entertainment, the 1,900 capacity (400 for seated shows) venue will fill a void in the San Diego area music scene, and will attract acts who previously would not have included this region when on tour. Goldsmith said “We want to bring in new artists that have previously not had a place in the market.” He believes the venue will be especially attractive to these acts in winter months, when it’s colder in other parts of the country.
When asked about noise and other concerns the surrounding community has had to deal with in the past, Goldsmith noted that unlike this new enclosed venue with a much smaller capacity, the KAABOO festival took place outdoors with crowds of 30,000 to 40,000. “We know the community well. We are sensitive to their quality of life concerns. We also share their appreciation for the arts and culture. Community relations are important to us.” Goldsmith stated. “We want this to be a good experience for the community and for all.