Concert Tailgating

Sunday, November 14, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

When most people think of tailgating they think of football, be it college or pro-ball.

People tailgate for baseball, rugby, basketball, motorsports, even horse and boat racing.

What many people forget, is the concert going tailgate crowd. I’ve been know to cook burgers on a charcoal grill and toss back a cold one in the parking lot while waiting for a show to begin. Many people show up early so that they won’t miss any of their favorite band or so they don’t get stuck in traffic on the way to the venue. Besides everyone wants a close parking spot. Who wants to park a mile away and have to hitch hike to get to the gate. If you have an hour or two before show time…why not eat and have a frosty one. Venue food and beverages are usually pricey anyway.

The biggest group of tailgating concert goers of all time…had to be Dead Heads. Many Dead Heads used to follow the Grateful Dead around the country for whole tours. That is alot of tailgating. I would have to say that the real tailgating was not how we all think of tailgating for a few factors.

Many Dead Heads were (and still are) vegetarian. That kind of leaves the grilled and smoked meat out of the picture. No big pots full of chili or Philly Cheese Steak done with an outdoor propane deep fryer or cooker either.

Another factor was money. Money was reserved for gas to get from show to show, and for tickets (unless you were a gate crasher). Food was typically veggie sandwiches, PB & J, etc. Simple but sustaining.

Phish heads have kind of taken over this faction of tailgating but I’ve never thought it to be quite a big as a Dead tour. (Besides after Jerry Garcia’s passing… many Dead Heads became full on Phish Heads, but still follow other Dead members on their solo and other functions).

NOW, I would have to say that the greatest concert going tailgaters of all time, would have to be Jimmy Buffett fans, or Parrot Heads.

This is a very dedicated group of fans. Grills, BBQ smokers, and BLENDERS. I’ve never seen so many gas generators just for blenders anywhere. There are even gas powered blenders!  Cold beers and  even wine can be found, but most folks are drinking frosty, icey margaritas and daiquiris. These folks show up WAY ahead of time just to tailgate in the parking lot…just like football tailgaters, but these guys set up Tiki huts and sport grass skirts. They even have tailgate buses and rigs, just like football & race tailgaters. Almost more about the tailgate than the venue.

Concert goers, race fans, football fans, it doesn’t matter. We Americans just love to tailgate!

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