Jimmy Buffett’s doing his first in-person concerts since the ‘rona. And Florida’s got him

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Howard Cohen
·3 min read
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Jimmy Buffett has hardly been idle during the pandemic. South Florida’s favorite troubadour put out two new albums in the summer of 2020, after all. And he streamed a bunch of concert footage and other fun stuff.

But he hasn’t played a live concert on a stage before fans and that, as most Parrotheads will tell you, is where Buffett excels.

That stage drought is about to end.

Jimmy Buffett is scheduled to perform at Old School Square in Delray Beach on May 13, 14, 17 and 18, 2021. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 26, 2021.
Jimmy Buffett is scheduled to perform at Old School Square in Delray Beach on May 13, 14, 17 and 18, 2021. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 26, 2021.

When is Buffett performing?

Buffett is scheduled to perform at Old School Square in Delray Beach for four nights in May. The dates: Thursday, May 13; Friday, May 14; Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18. All the shows are set to start at 8 p.m.

Why this venue?

Apparently, Old School Square, being pavilion-style and outdoors, appealed to Buffett and his Coral Reefer bandmates. Buffett has also had a home in Palm Beach County for quite some time so that probably sounded like a good place to start.

“We are honored to host a music icon as beloved as Jimmy Buffett, whose songs also perfectly depict the island vibe lifestyle we offer here in Delray,” Old School Square CEO Holland Ryan said in a statement. “We’re incredibly humbled that Jimmy and his team selected our safe, secure, open-air venue to bring back his live performances, and we look forward to these special nights with Jimmy’s classics and best-known gems under the stars.”

Tickets on sale date

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 26, via the venue at Oldschoolsquare.org.

You’re buying a pod, basically, so that keeps people together and socially distanced from fellow concertgoers. The price range is $450 to $2,000 for a pod of four seats so each ticket accommodates four people. (If you really can’t stand the idea of sitting next to even a close buddy or loved one you could theoretically buy a pod and sit inside all by your lonesome. Of course, then the full cost is on you.)

There are 222 pods so that means the venue has a capacity for 888 people. But this also means there are only 222 tickets being sold.

Buffett’s next scheduled concert in Florida, according to Ticketmaster, is a Dec. 4 date at Tampa’s Amalie Arena.

Buffett and the ‘rona

Jimmy Buffett’s 2020 album, “Life on the Flip Side.”
Jimmy Buffett’s 2020 album, “Life on the Flip Side.”

In the liner notes of last May’s “Life on the Flip Side,” the first of his two new 2020 studio albums, Buffett wrote about the effect the coronavirus was having on people and how his music might help a bit.

“The world took a catastrophic meteor-like hit from a virus you can’t see without a microscope,” Buffett wrote. “Suddenly we were all hurled into survival mode that almost feels like science fiction, except for the fact that we are living it, in real time. Hopefully, the songs we wrote and recorded, will also help folks deal with the fallout.”

The album featured the tracks “15 Cuban Minutes,” which had a music video. The album’s cover was shot in Cuba by photographer Roberto Salas. The single “Down at the Lah De Dah” played off the Key West lifestyle Buffett helped popularize in song.

A few months later, Buffett released “Songs You Don’t Know By Heart” that his Parrot Heads helped program after his daughter Delaney Buffett posed a question on social media, “What little-known Jimmy Buffett songs would you like him to revisit?”

Tens of thousands of replies poured in and father and daughter first created a video series and that, in turn, became an acoustic album that played off the title of his first classic best-of compilation, the early-1980s’ “Songs You Know By Heart.”