Parrotheads, The Tailgate Party, The Meaning Of Fins Up & Tropical Attire
So you’ve never been to a Buffett show? Boy are YOU in for a treat!
But you just don’t show up for Jimmy Buffett concert. You have to experience it, and here’s 5 things to know and what to expect at a show. In addition to reading this article, be sure and watch my “how to” video.
1.) The Parking Lot Tailgate Is The Reason People Go To Jimmy Buffett Concerts
Most people have seen Buffett several times (my personal count is about 70 shows) so it’s not about seeing Jimmy play and sing “Margaritaville,” “Fins,” and “Volcano” again; it’s about the parking lot tailgate party. Simply put, there’s nothing like it anywhere, especially in music. Hours before the shows, people pull up in motorhomes and buses, park them in rows and set up pop-up tiki bars. You walk up and down those rows and pretty much forget all about Jimmy playing later. In fact, you pretty much forget about everything and just live in the moment. That’s why Parrotheads like the Buffett song line, “I love the now!”
2.) Jimmy Buffett Fans Are Known As Parrotheads & Fins Up
Fans of Jimmy Buffett proudly refer to themselves as “Parrotheads.” It’s a tropical take on Grateful Dead fans calling themselves Deadheads. Parrotheads often communicate with other Parrotheads by putting the flat side of their hand on top of their head – making a kind of shark fin – and saying “Fins Up.” This is a reference to Buffett’s song “Fins.”
3.) Jimmy Buffett Concert-Goers Dress In Tropical Attire
Just about everyone has on some kind of tropical attire: a Hawaiian “aloha” shirt, Polynesian straw hat (a personal favorite of mine), perhaps a gras skirt or for some even coconut bras. Guys, tho should NOT wear this item. Some people even dress up like Buffett song characters, such as a “Son Of A Son Of A Sailor.”
4.) Jimmy Buffett Concerts Are A Tropical Party Scene
Blenders are churning in the parking lot (some powered by portable generators and sporting motorcycle handlebars!), rum drinks are flowing from the pop-up tiki bars and there are group shots. So it’s a party and you will be drinking. But don’t mooch – while good-looking girls can always get drinks, it’s far better to have your own. And have enough with you so you’re not running back to your car to constantly refill. Oh, and don’t drink and drive; it’s best if you can rent a bus and get 45 friends to join you.
5.) Things To Know Inside A Jimmy Buffett Concert
Jimmy will always play his regular songs – “Margaritaville,” “Fins,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “A Pirate Looks At 40.” After all, he says “give the people what they want.” When the song “Fins” is played, you put your hand on your head (as mentioned previously) and move to the right and left during the lyrics “fins to the right, fins to left.”
Anything else to know? Well go with a great attitude, laugh a lot and enjoy the scene. It’s like no other concert and soon enough, you’ll be a Parrothead.