Tailgate Party To Turn Into Margaritaville For Parrotheads In Late Afternoon
That’s the question as they prepare for the final show at Irvine Meadows in Southern California. And, according to a sign posted at the venue, the parking lot will open at 4 p.m.
Buffett plays the final show at the venue on Saturday, Oct. 22. After that, the amphitheater which has hosted dozens of Buffett shows (and many other concerts) through the years will be torn down for condos.
Of course, before there was an Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, the property was the home of Lion Country Safari. That was a drive-thru zoo (yeah, of course there was a drive-thru zoo in L.A.!) which is why the venue has such a huge parking lot in the first place.
And it is the size of that parking lot that had Parrotheads flocking to the venue year after year in the 90s and early 2000s because they could set up for the primary reason people go to Buffett shows – the tailgate party!
Buses and motorhomes would roll in and set up tiki bars, jacuzzis and even bring in TropRock bands. PubClub.com would contribute to the scene by bringing down a party bus from the South Bay and, as of this writing, there are a few seats left on this year’s Buffett bus leaving from Hermosa Beach (click the link for details!).
Back in the “good ‘ol days,” which is before Irvine and the staunch Irvine PD knew what hit them – the parking lot would open at noon. By 1 all the tiki bars and tailgating spots were set up, by 2 it was picking up steam and by 3 it was a full-on Parrothead paradise.
This was, without a doubt, a true definition of the meaning of “Margaritaville.”
Once, Jimmy got on stage and asked if the crowd wanted a warmup band.
“I put a warmup band on the stage and nobody came,” he said. “Then I put a band in the parking lot and nobody went to it. (Jimmy, that’s because you put it at the far end of the lot by the entrance and not in the main party spot in the section with the motorhomes!)
“So do you want a warmup band or not!?”
A big chorus of “noooooos” went out from the crowd.
Ahh, the memories of Jimmy Buffett concerts at Irvine Meadows. Parrotheads will make a few more on Saturday Oct. 22. Starting at 4 o’clock, of course.