As first reported by InsideNova, Jiffy Lube Live (formerly Nissan Pavilion) in Bristow, Virginia, one of the area’s biggest concert venues, has moved to ban all forms of tailgating in their parking lots.
According to Jiffy Lube, Live Nation, and the Prince William County Police, the new policy has been put in place because:
“The safety of the fans is of paramount importance and we have an ongoing commitment to work with the local police department on all shows to ensure a safe environment for all of our fans. As part of this commitment, it has been determined that it is in the best interest of the fans and their overall experience at the venue to not allow tailgating.”
The move comes just as outdoor summer concerts are set to start, and will be strictly enforced during Saturday’s WMZQ country music festival at Jiffy Lube Live. Parking lot gates for the concert will open at 3pm, instead of noon, as usual, and if police “see anyone tailgating or drinking, they’ll give one warning. After that, Jiffy Lube officials will obtain trespassing paperwork and have the offenders removed from the property” The previous policy was also against tailgating, but police and security tended to look the other way as long as there was no underage drinking or excessive rowdiness.
While ostensibly a move to prevent drunk driving, owing to several high profile post-concert accidents in the last few years, the move reeks of hypocrisy and money grabbing, since the venue will still serve (very overpriced) beers inside the gates.
The new policy will likely be extremely unpopular with the general public (just ask Dan Snyder how well a tailgate ban turned out) and serious backlash has already started. There is already a Facebook group calling for a boycott that has over 2500 fans.
Tailgating is one of the main draws for many summer concerts, such as Jimmy Buffett, where the tailgate parties are often more of a draw than the concert itself. So, this is just one more strike against a venue that is already plagued by problems. Jiffy Lube Live is notorious for being very inaccessible and for pre- and post-concert traffic jams that can last for hours. Hopefully it will inspire promoters to move to more transit-friendly locations, such as Nationals Park.
Will this new policy change your summer concert plans?