San Diego

Festivalgoer Recounts ‘Chaos' Outside Steve Aoki Venue at KAABOO

At least one fight erupted Saturday night at the KAABOO Musical Festival in Del Mar when festivalgoers became frustrated trying to get into a popular event in a small venue, according to witnesses and officials. 

Tempers flared Saturday night as people who had been waiting for two hours to see Steve Aoki perform at the ENCORE stage became angry when the venue reached capacity.  

"When you get a high personality like Steve Aoki and tell people you're going to sell out, while you have 10,000 people scheduled to go see him into an arena that only holds like, 4,000 people, it's not the best planning," said festivalgoer David Lopez, a Chula Vista resident. 

He spent $280 on tickets for the 3-day festival and went to see Aerosmith last night. Lopez said he eventually transitioned to go see Aoki. 

But when he went to the venue, he noticed it quickly became unruly. 

"It turned into a big chaos riot," Lopez recalled. "People throwing stuff, fights breaking out and cops tackling people with pepper spray and tasers." 

Lopz said he was surprised, as he expected the event, now in its second year, to be mellow. 

A San Diego County Sheriff's Lieutenant told NBC 7 San Diego the venue filled up as people from other venues were trying to leave, and the crowd became unruly. There were several fights, the Lieutenant said. 

He did not have a specific number, but said between one and four people were arrested.

A KAABOO spokesperson siad they understood some people were disappointed they could not get into the venue, but safety comes first. 

"KAABOO and the Del Mar Fairgrounds apologize to those who were unable to enjoy ENCORE last night. The venue was at capacity. For the safety of our guests, security and the Sheriff’s Department dispersed any unruly crowds. There were no injuries. All experiences are on schedule as planned for today. We are very much looking forward to seeing you," a KAABOO spokesperson said in a statement.

Sheriff's officials formed a skirmish line and people eventually dispersed into the parking lot to end the incident.

Lopez said it took anywhere from two to three hours to get out of the parking lot, as well. 

"The parking management was just horrible," he said. "You have people waiting in line two to three hours to get out of a dirt area of Del Mar."

No one was injured, Sheriff's officials said. 

No other information was immediately available. 

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