Huge Parking Lot Made For The Perfect Parrotheads Tailgate Party
At the recommendation of a friend, our group had gone down early in the afternoon to hang out and have a couple of pre-concert drinks. Or so we thought.
Boy, did we get a surprise! Jimmy Buffett concerts, we quickly learned, are a lot different than any other shows, and Irvine Meadows happened to have the perfect setup for it. Motorhomes had set up tiki bars and the large parking lot hosted rows of rows of them.
By late afternoon, we were in Parrothead heaven that we didn’t even know existed earlier in the day and it started a series of return trips to Irvine Meadows for Buffett as I began to organize party buses. This became an annual ritual that will end with the final party bus at the final Buffett concert as Irvine Meadows closes in October of 2016.
And oh, the memories from those Buffett shows.
Roaming around and partying with a dizzying number of gorgeous girls in tropical print shirts, going up and down the aisles of seemingly endless motorhomes and portable bars, having a drink with friends whenever we spotted a shark fin (which was frequent) and seeing things such as the “fin spin” and doing ice luge shots and the limbo. Some people actually brought Buffett cover bands into the parking lot!
I even had sex on the party bus once.
As far as the venue itself, I was never much of a fan. For starters, the walk from the entrance to the seats is crazy long; it takes something like 15 minutes. Then you pretty much have to hike up a mountain to reach the lawn, which is so steep you’re in danger of sliding down to the bottom of it if you’re not careful.
Plus there were the ridiculously high concession prices (a beer at the last Buffett show was something like 15 bucks!) and staffers were always somewhat pushy – during one show we were dancing in the aisles to a Buffett song and the security guy kept coming over and over telling us to calm down; he obviously had no prior training to inform him that Parrotheads are not troublemakers.
So I won’t miss the venue itself, but I’ll sure miss those great tailgate parties for Jimmy Buffett.