Live Nation bowed to pressure from Jimmy Buffett fans this week when the company lifted a ban on tailgating at its Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater in Bristow, VA.
The company instituted the ban last year for safety reasons, following a number of drunk-driving related fatalities following shows in recent years. But the ban proved to be unpopular with fans who have long tailgated in the parking lot of the facility, particularly before and during shows by Buffett and other artists.
In fact, the ban was partially blamed for thousands of ticket refund requests before a Buffett concert in September. The event was postponed by a few days due to Hurricane Irene, but fans also reportedly complained that the tailgating ban impacted their decision.
In a statement on its Web site, Live Nation said it hopes fans have a positive experience tailgating at the facility.
“Tailgating is an important part of the concert experience for you the fan,” the company said. “We are committed to creating a SAFE environment that is fan friendly for all of our guests to enjoy.”
Under the amphitheater’s new tailgating policy, fans are not allowed to use tents or canopies, and they must keep traffic lanes clear of cars, tables, chairs and other items.
The use of barbeque grills is permitted, but laws prohibiting underage drinking will be strictly enforced. Additionally, tailgating must stop 20 minutes after a performance begins, and fans must either enter the concert or leave the premises. No tailgating will be allowed after a show’s conclusion.
Matt Rogers, general manager of Jiffy Lube Live, told the Washington Post that the company researched how tailgating was handled at dozens of facilities before deciding to allow it again.
“Fan feedback is critical to help improve our operations and create the best possible concert experience for our fans,” Rogers said. “The decision was made after listening to our fans and doing our due diligence.”