Fall 2018 Jimmy Buffet Concert Guide

It is no secret that Jimmy Buffett is a big music attraction in the United States. Not only has Buffett released over 30 albums, but he has also inspired a whole new music genre; gulf and western. This is feel good music which one may best describe as a cocktail of country, pop, rock and Caribbean influences.

Hits such as “Margaritaville,” “Fins” and “Volcano” have made Jimmy Buffett concerts a popular draw. Indeed, his tours have gained a loyal following of fans known as “Parrothead.” Some concerts attract up to 25,000 attendees with tickets sometimes selling out in as fast as 20 minutes.

Organizers have dubbed 2018’s Jimmy Buffett tour the “Son of a Son of a Sailor” tour. This is in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the SOASOAS album which he released in 1978. The album contains hits such as “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Cowboy in the Jungle.”

Jimmy Buffett Tour Dates and Venues this fall

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The last summer concert in the SOASOAS string of concerts went down on the 9th of August in Boston. But here is some exciting news hot off the press, a Free benefit concert for Gwen Graham, an FL politician, for those of you that live in South Florida on August 28, 2018.

And then, the Jimmy Buffet SOASOAS concerts continue this Fall in Paris, France, and the United States!

jimmy buffett concert goers

1. La Cigale – 120, Bd Rochechouart Paris, France

In 2017, Jimmy Buffett held three shows at the La Cigale theatre. He and his Coral Reefer Band performed hits like “Lovely Cruise,” “Last Mango in Paris” and “He Went to Paris.”

When? This year, Jimmy Buffett is back at the La Cigale theatre; but this time, he is back for four nights. He will perform on the 25th, 26th, 28th, and 29th of September; with shows beginning at 7:30 pm. Doors open one hour before the show starts.

Ticket Information

Tickets for these Jimmy Buffett concerts cost between 78.50 € and 115.50 €. Nonetheless, the tickets are selling fast. In fact, as per the La Cigale website, the shows on the 28th and 29th are already sold out.

About the Venue

La Cigale is a small theatre located near Place Pigalle; a place whose history resonates with art lovers. The hall opened its doors in 1887 and had a total capacity of 1,389 people. While this may seem like a small capacity, it is the perfect environment for a Buffett show. This is a much more intimate setting, or close-up and personal setting.

Other big stars that have performed at this venue include David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and Red Hot Chili Peppers among others. One other good thing about La Cigale is that it stocks beer and wine.

2. Talking Stick Resort Arena – 201 E. Jefferson St Phoenix, AZ

The last time Buffett was at this venue in Phoenix was during the “Songs from St. Somewhere” tour in 2013. The venue has since changed its name to the Talking Stick Resort Arena. This year, after a five-year wait, Parrotheads in Phoenix have something to look forward to. When Buffett fans can get to sing and party with him on the 13th of October 2018. The show is set to begin at 8 pm.

Source: John Hahn

Ticket Information

Tickets for the show started going on sale on April 23rd, 2018. Tickets range from $70 to $470 based on one’s seating selection.

About the Venue

Talking Stick Resort Arena is an 18,422 capacity venue that hosts sports and entertainment events. Basketball enthusiasts know it as the home of the Phoenix Suns (men) and the Phoenix Mercury (women).  The arena has hosted some big names in the past including Frank Sinatra, Green Day and Ariana Grande.

Additionally, the Talking Stick Resort Arena in conjunction with the Valley Metro light rail runs the “Rail Ride Even” program. This allows individuals who purchase tickets for an event at the arena to use the tickets as light rail fare. This is only valid on the day of the event. Additionally, validity begins four hours before the event starts at the end of the transit day. Parrotheads attending the concert may ride the Valley Metro light rail at no extra costs. However, fans must keep the physical ticket and show it to fare inspectors upon request.

The Talking Stick Resort Arena has a 700-space parking structure. Parrotheads attending the concert may also pack at the 1,450-space Jefferson Street Garage which is next door.

3. Vivint Smart Home Arena – 301 West South Temple Salt Lake City, UT

Twenty-Seven years have passed since Jimmy Buffett last performed in Salt Lake City.  This fall, however, the Parrotheads in Utah are in for a Jimmy Buffett treat at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. This is the same venue he performed in 1991.

When? Organizers have scheduled this event for the 17th of October 2018. The show starts at 8 pm.

Jimmy Buffett concert date

Ticket Information

Tickets for this Jimmy Buffett concert cost between $42 and $136+ based on one’s seat.

About the Venue

Vivint Smart Home Arena first opened its doors in October 1991 as the Delta Center. The indoor arena currently serves as the home of NBA’s Utah Jazz basketball team. Additionally, the venue has a capacity of over 18,000 but can reach 20,000+ people during concerts. Garth Brooks, U2, and even the Rolling Stones have held sold-out concerts at the venue.

For fans intending to fly in for the Jimmy Buffett concert, Vivint Smart Home Arena is only 15 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport.

Parrotheads should, however, note that the Vivint Smart Home Arena does not allow alcohol from outside at any event. Instead, individuals who are 21 years or older can purchase alcohol from inside the arena.

4. MGM Grand Garden Arena – 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV

This the last of Jimmy Buffett concerts under the SOASOAS tour. Together with the Coral Reefer Band, Buffett returns to Las Vegas and to the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

When? The Las Vegas show is set for the 20th of October 2018 and is set to begin at 7 pm. This concert will also feature a special guest appearance from Boz Scaggs (of the hit single Lido Shuffle).

Ticket Information

Parrotheads can purchase tickets for the show for between $40 and $212. Accessible seating/limited mobility seating tickets are also available. Tickets are also charged a 9% live entertainment tax.

About the Venue

MGM Grand Garden Arena is a renowned sports and entertainment arena that opened its doors in 1993. The arena can seat an estimated 16,800 people.

The MGM Grand Garden arena has an extensive list of prohibited items that Parrotheads should consider. Some of these include;

  • Bags (except small purses) and backpacks
  • Food, beverages or alcohol from outside
  • Selfie sticks
  • Professional photography
  • Balloons, balls, projectiles and optical illusions

There are two parking options for concert goers; self-parking and valet parking.

Self-parking attracts a charge of $15 for 4 to 24 hours while valet parking costs $24 for the same. 2 to 3 hours of parking attracts a fee of $12 for self-parking and $18 for valet parking.

Tips on Attending Jimmy Buffett Concerts

Jimmy Buffett concerts are not just
events they are fun-filled experiences. As a matter of fact,  Parrotheads have
even developed distinct concert routines. These often involve a number of

1. Preparation

Unlike other show-goers, Parrotheads prepare well for concerts on the eve of the concerts (or even earlier). This is to avoid unpleasant interruptions or pitfalls at the tailgate or during the concert. Preparation is a time for Parrotheads to ensure that;

  • Get concert attires are ready
  • Prepare/ pack drinks, buy food supplies (the more the better), don’t forget the ice!
  • They have packed all decorations (or set them up on the car)
  • They have written out lyrics to Buffett songs and packed Buffett CDs
  • Arrive early and tailgate

Buffett fans like arriving early to concerts. If the venue allows it, some fans will even reach as early as 7 am.  The main intention of arriving early is to set up tailgating area and party before the concert.

During the tailgating Parrotheads socialize, play outdoor games and listen and sing along to Buffett tunes. All this while enjoying cheeseburgers and sipping on margaritas. Here are several margarita recipes, click the link. Or you can shoot tequila! Always have a non-alcoholic option available too, like sodas or water bottles.


A must-have during the tailgate is a CD of Buffett’s greatest hits. Other must-haves include a tent, cooler and ice as well as water, aspirin, coffee and an ice-bag for the headaches. Even a trash bag is essential.  This is also a time to meet strangers, form friendships and best of all, get to enjoy some free food and free drinks. Everyone is a potential friend regardless of age, gender or hair color.

Some people have so much fun at the tailgates that they do not even attend the actual shows. Similarly, those who don’t have tickets often show up simply for the tailgates and to listen to the shows from the outside.

2. Attending the actual concert

Buffett fans like to get into venues early. Doing so allows them to find their seats or standing positions early enough. Additionally, it allows them to familiarize themselves with other Parrotheads and make friends before the show starts. After all, Jimmy Buffett concerts are all about having fun together.

Singing along is an integral part of the concert particularly once Buffett and his band step up to play. The more friends one makes before the show, the more likely they are to enjoy the sing-alongs. But it is not just about singing along either. Parrotheads should learn and know the moves. For example, in “Fins” Parrotheads often put their hands above their heads to imitate a fin. They then turn to the left and to the right in response to Buffett’s cue.

3. After the Show

Even though Parrotheads love having fun, they know that a brief break from the fun is necessary. So, when the show ends, the best advice is to go home, take a much-deserved rest and recall the good time and the new friends.

But most importantly, Parrotheads start preparing for their next Jimmy Buffett concert. However, even in all this, Parrotheads drink responsibly and within the law. This includes getting a safe ride home through a taxi, party bus or a designated driver.

What to Wear for Jimmy Buffett Concerts

Buffett’s music is laid-back, feel-good music. It is about putting one’s sorrows away and as they say, enjoying a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” for a while. Some have even likened Buffett’s concerts to tropical dress-up parties. To avoid looking out of place, here are a few attire tips concertgoers should keep in mind;

1. Tropical themes

Buffett’s concerts revolve around having a fun and laid-back time. Nothing spells this out more than tropically themed clothing. Anything, from floral prints to grass skirts is welcome. Concertgoers can even stick with the more traditional Hawaiian shirt and short look. Other outfits include; swimming trunks, bikinis, hula skirts, leis, and sun-dresses.

2. Brightest colors first

Dressing up for Jimmy Buffett concerts is about looking exciting, relaxed and happy. Black and other dull colors should simply not find their way into Buffett’s concerts. Parrotheads instead focus on vibrant and colorful attires. Common hues include bright greens, pinks, yellows, blues and other tropical colors. Nonetheless, one thing every concert goer should remember to avoid is a Jimmy Buffett t-shirt; no matter how bright it is.

3. Keep feet comfortable

jimmy buffett concert shoes

The vacation look does not end with a dress or a shirt and the short. On the contrary, Parrotheads should extend it to the footwear they choose to wear for the concert. Heels or office shoes have no place in Jimmy Buffett concerts. Concert goers ought to wear flip-flops, sandals, crocs, open-toed shoes or whatever other comfortable and laid-back shoe is available. If it is comfortable, it works.

4. Avoid heavy jackets and big bags

It is normal for Jimmy Buffett concerts to sell out. This can only mean two things; packed venues and great vibes. Ultimately, temperatures in these venues often go up and dressing light is therefore ideal. It is tedious to carry heavy jackets around. Additionally, the jackets may get ruined or even lost. However, a light cardigan or hooded sweatshirt is fine.

Apart from heavy jackets, some event-goers often carry backpacks and other bulky packs to concerts. In Jimmy Buffett shows, these will only slow one down. The less one has, the easier it is to enjoy all the action. In some cases, the venues themselves prohibit items such as backpacks and other big bags.

5. Headwear and other accessories

No Jimmy Buffett concert outfit is complete without headwear or other types of accessories. In fact, the crazier and colorful the accessory is, the better it is for the concert.

Big wacky head accessories are common in Buffett’s shows with many of them taking up themes from his songs. For example, some headgears are shark fin-shaped while others are huge parrots.

However, even a simple but bright beachcomber hat is fine. Popular accessories include coconut bras, large and colorful sunglasses, seashell bras and parrot or tropically themed jewelry. But perhaps the most important thing to wear at Jimmy Buffett concerts is a smile. After all, they are all about being happy and spreading the happiness.
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