The tailgaters have won.
Under immense pressure by tailgating fans and coordinated efforts to boycott events, concert venue Jiffy Lube Live has announced it will bring back tailgating after banning it last season.
Washington Post: Jiffy Lube Live lifts tailgating ban
Manassas Patch: Tailgating Returns to Jiffy Lube Live
Ticket News: Live Nation relents on tailgating at Jiffy Lube Live
Back in May we wrote about Jiffy Lube Live Banning Tailgating and the uproar it caused amongst the many fans that frequently enjoyed tailgating outside the the Virginia concert venue west of Washington D.C. A Facebook group asking fans to Boycott Jiffy Lube Live’s Tailgating Policy popped up and gained almost 10,000 fans. This coordinated effort by the fans extended to contacting popular musical groups who had performed at Jiffy Lube Live in the past and asking them to schedule future concerts at rival venues to show solidarity and support of the tailgaters.
Whether the pressure by the boycotting fans influenced their decision or not, the fact remains that popular country music artists Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw scheduled concerts at FedEx Field rather than Jiffy Lube Live, a venue both had sold out in the past. Kenny Chesney is a wildly popular musical artist with a rabid tailgating fan base that is close in comparison to the enthusiasm that Jimmy Buffett fans display when tailgating. By Chesney choosing to not reschedule a concert date at jiffy lube Live may have been a huge message to the management there that the boycott was working.
In August 2011, Kid Rock performed at Jiffy Lube Live and prior to performing his song “Care”, he went on a minute long diatribe calling into question the Jiffy Lube Live policy to ban tailgating. Skip to the 2 minute mark to hear his comments. (Video does contain some strong language.)
So what is the lesson learned here today, class? The moral of this story is that you as tailgating nation DO NOT have to roll over and accept reduced tailgating times and stricter rules and regulations. By coordinating your efforts and choosing to not patronize those venues, teams, colleges and musical artists that are apathetic towards tailgating, you can make sweeping changes. By hitting those who make the decision to ban or reduce tailgating times in their pocketbooks, they will be forced to reevaluate their tailgating policies or go out of business.
In today’s day and age of social media like Twitter and Facebook where people can connect instantly, there is no excuse for not having consolidated efforts to bring about change. Social media was at the heart of coordinating the Egyptian protests last spring and many of the Tes Party and Occupy protests here in the United States.
If you tailgaters can band together and fight for your privilege to tailgate, you can change the policies. Just look what happened out in Virginia.
Tailgaters – 1
Jiffy Lube Live – 0