Jimmy Buffett @ Merriweather Post Pavilion Aug 26,28 1999

A few thoughts on Merriweather by Ken Jenkins

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This was definitely a memorable year for Merriweather Post Pavilion. Memorable for being the beginning of the end. MWP went from being one of the best venues in the country to see Buffett to the absolute worst. I can understand wanting to keep the tailgating under control, but the Merriweather Gestapo was out of control, branching out all over the town of Columbia wherever there might be parrotheads -- at the mall, at hotels -- you name it, they were there. Merriweather and Howard County obviously do not want Jimmy back there. You gotta wonder why they even had him this year.

Merriweather has taken the actions of a few who have misbehaved in the past and used it to crack down like we were all criminals. The very people that have supported Merriweather through many years of Buffett concerts are the ones they're pissing off. The problems with tailgating could have been fixed long ago if they had cracked down on the real culprits: people who show up and don't even go to the concert. They're the ones who cause the trouble after the concert, but Merriweather was obviously not quite bright enough to figure this out. Instead they've chosen to make us all feel like prisoners in the parking lot.

Funny how they're so strict if they see a beer in the parking lot, but there's a beer stand every 20 feet inside. And they sell beer right up till the concert is nearly over (10:15pm), whereas most venues cut off beer sales around 9:00. Obviously they aren't too concerned about drunkeness. At $7 a beer, it's obvious what they're worried about.

And don't forget about the lawn being so crowded you can hardly move. I've never seen such a safety hazard in my life. It's a wonder there's not been a major disaster. They probably sell about twice as many lawns seats as they should. Merriweather is an aging, third rate, dump of a venue. The only thing they had going for them was a good pre-concert Buffett tailgating. What have they got now? A lot of pissed off former customers.

A piece of advice if Jimmy comes back there next year: Ease up on the true parrot heads and concentrate on the partyheads who don't even go in to the concert. Not to mention all the under-age drinking and people selling "whip-its" in the parking lot. If you're that worried about somebody having too much to drink, then don't sell beer inside the venue. That's 3+ hours for people to wind down. Plus you won't have to worry about all the port-a-potties.