Buffett Turns Gulf Shores Into Margaritaville

On Sunday singer, songwriter and Third Coast native Jimmy Buffett returned home to put on a charity event to benefit the Gulf Region.  The stage was erected directly next to the oil saturated beaches in Gulf Shores, AL.  The concert was a great gesture that took considerably more effort than you would think.  In case you missed it I'll recap.

Even though the concert was free Ticket Master handled the disbursement of tickets which resulted in a big gaff when scalpers and not beleaguered Gulf Coast residents gobbled up all of the tickets.  So instead of thousands of locals going to a free concert thrown by one of their own they were relegated to trying to win an eBay auction where the prices were topping out at $800.  Once again - for a free concert.  Then there was Hurricane Alex which pelted the seaside stage with wind and rain forcing the entire event to be rescheduled.  A lot of the big names like Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown that had agreed to playing on June 30th were unable to jungle their schedules for the new date.  Then rumors started that Alan Jackson was going to play the show but that didn't pan out either.  But it finally happened.

35,000 were in attendance including an entire news broadcast from one of the local TV stations performed stage-side.  The show was also broadcast live on CMT.  In addition to attracting a lot of Parrotheads the concert also drew plenty of politicians trying to milk the Oil Spill for personal gain like Florida Governor and senatorial candidate Charlie Crist and unpopular outgoing Alabama Governor Bob Riley.  They were not appreciated but Buffett and his friends were.

The event brought business to a town that has seen a 50% decrease in tourism since last summer.  Restaurants were, for one day anyway, seeing some much needed traffic and even made a little extra cash by selling grub to concert goers.  Without some of the host's better known friends the national TV audience got a chance to see a sampling of the local acts here along the Third Coast.  But most of all the concert was a night to take a little break from what is an unimaginable blow to an area that has already dealt with plenty.  But the sad reality is this is far from over.  The devastation wrought by BP's negligence and the Obama Administration's ineptitude is only beginning.

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