Jimmy Buffett Announces Gulf Coast Benefit Show
Gulf Shores officials on Friday hinted that some big names were coming to a summer series of concerts intended for promoting beach tourism for the area affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
On Sunday, Jimmy Buffet, the chart topping bard of the beach, revealed that he will be playing on the beach on Thursday July 1 and will bringing some friends along.
An announcement on www.margaritaville.com stated that “Jimmy Buffet & Friends Live from the Gulf Coast” will be broadcast by CMT cable channel that day from 7-8:30 pm. Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band are being joined by Allen Toussaint, New Orleans musician, Jesse Winchester songwriter, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band and guitarist Sonny Landreth.
On Sunday, other details were still sketchy. The site of Buffet’s described the show as being free. However a similar posting at www.cmt.com seemed to suggest that information on ticketing will soon be available. Last week, Robert Craft, Gulf Shores Mayor, said the beach shows may have a small admission fee that would go towards charities that were wildlife-related.
Last week, Craft said the city was planning to install the stage on the public beach’s west end, similar to one that was used for the Hangout Beach, Music and Arts Festival recently.
Organizers are hoping to have five shows presented this summer, according to Craft, with all to be held at mid-week. The bands will be donating their time. Other costs will paid for from BP PLC money, given to the state for promoting tourism.
According to a report from the Associated Press Bob Riley, governor of Alabama, applauded the idea, agreeing to let Alabama’s tourism department help out with the cost of production.
In a statement, Riley said, this will start the turnaround of bringing tourists back to our beaches and help save our summer season, despite the occasional tarballs. Jimmy Buffet fans by the millions will see how beautiful and clean our Gulf beaches are. Many will make the decision to visit. This couldn’t come at any better time, with the July Fourth weekend starting.
On Friday, Craft said, Gulf Shores City Council will be discussing the plan on Monday evening with an official announcement coming on Tuesday.
The last Mobile show for Buffet was in December 1998. The concert held at Mobile Civic Center, a hurricane relief fundraiser, according to organizers raised about $450,000.