First 2016 fair concert announced

DEL MAR — It may be nearly four months until the 2016 San Diego County Fair opens, but the Del Mar Fairgrounds is already booking performers for the summer concert series.

Lady Antebellum, the Grammy Award-winning country music group, will appear June 5 on opening weekend.

Presale tickets ranging from $36 to $99 will be available beginning Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. at ticketmaster.com.

Tickets can also be purchased at the fairgrounds at the Durante gate box office Feb. 20.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association, which governs the fairgrounds, approved the $300,000 contract at the Feb. 9 meeting.

“It’s very exciting to have them,” Director Fred Schenk said.

“To have a group of that caliber … that’s a great thing,” President Russ Penniman added.

The annual event, themed “Mad About the Fair,” opens at 4 p.m. June 3 and will run through July 4.

In other news, the board was initially planning to approve a contract for the second annual KAABOO Del Mar, a three-day music event slated to begin Sept. 16.

The contract was on the consent calendar, which generally includes routine items approved with a single vote, but it was pulled.

Director David Watson, in his report on the Community Relations Committee, said issues regarding noise impacts on Del Mar are still being worked out.

“We’re trying to figure out how we can be good neighbors,” he said.

In December, the Del Mar City Council, in closed session, voted unanimously to direct the city attorney and city manager “to start the process to enforce Del Mar’s rights under the settlement agreement because of fairgrounds noise violations.”

A February 2013 agreement, which settled a lawsuit filed by the city and two other agencies over expansion plans at the fairgrounds, addresses noise violations by the state-owned facility.

Following the first KAABOO event in September 2015 the city and fairgrounds received several noise complaints about loud music.

Fairgrounds officials said they hope to approve the KAABOO 2016 contract next month.

Watson also reported that a study conducted to determine the economic impacts of fairgrounds activities on neighboring cities is taking a little longer than expected to be finalized.

He said officials are reviewing the results but “there is a lot of data to go over … and we want to ensure it’s accurate.”

He said it’s possible the study will be presented next month.

Penniman said efforts to fast-track the double-tracking project have been endorsed by the San Diego Association of Governments.

He said that the agency supports a request by the 22nd DAA, Del Mar and Solana Beach to complete the project, which also includes the addition of a special events platform at the fairgrounds, in 2020, five years earlier than scheduled.

“We’re all in this together, trying to alleviate traffic issues,” Watson said.

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