$17 Million Del Mar Fairgrounds Concert Venue The Sound To Grand Open With Ziggy Marley This February

November 8, 2022

Longtime North County San Diego concert venue Belly Up Tavern will manage a new $17 million music venue named "The Sound" at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which is set to unveil February 2023 with a concert by reggae-legend Ziggy Marley.

For the past couple years, the Del Mar Fairgrounds has been updating the 90,000-square-foot, former Race Place satellite wagering facility to become a new, all-ages concert and entertainment venue. Solana Beach’s Belly Up was originally given the chance to manage the venue back in 2018, but KAABOO Del Mar's parent company challenged the contract. KAABOO has since had a messy breakup with Del Mar Fairgrounds and is likely done for good due to litigation from inside and outside the company.

Earlier this year, the board managing the Fairgrounds approved a contract valued at over $16 million with Belly Up to manage the nearly 90,000 square-foot concert venue dubbed The Sound. Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach has a long history as a concert venue dating back to 1974, where its hosted such acts as Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones, and so many more over its decades-long tenure. Belly Up ownership will oversee booking, promoting, and management of The Sound, with frequent concerts and private events to be held at the space.

"Through a competitive bidding process, we sought a highly qualified entertainment promotion and management company to become a collaborative partner with us," said Del Mar Fairground's CEO Carlene Moore. "They’ll be working to bring complementary entertainment and educational programming into the venue, and to have that work in tandem with our other activities taking place at the Fairgrounds as well."

The Sound offers 7,500 square-feet of space on the main floor with a 2,000 square-foot upper level. The venue has capacity for 1,900 attendees for general admission concerts, including 200 reserved seats upstairs and 100 downstairs. The capacity for an all-seated concerts is 800. The space houses five bars, four on the main floor, one upstairs, and will offer light food items in addition to cocktails beer and wine. The Sound is expected to host approximately 60 shows per year. The contract between Del Mar Fairgrounds and the Belly Up last for the next 10 years. 

The Sound will open at 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard in San Diego's Del Mar on February 3, 2023, with performance by reggae-music star Ziggy Marley. Marley is actually not the first performer at The Sound. San Diego's Mainly Mozart Festival hosted three concerts at the venue this past October when the property was previously called The Center at The Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Tickets for the Ziggy Marley concert, priced from $75 to $125, will go on sale Friday, November 11, at 12pm at thesoundsd.com