What is a Parrothead?

What is a parrothead

What is a Parrot Head?

The origin of the Parrot Head goes all the way back to June 28, 1985. One of Jimmy Buffett's former Coral Reefer Band members, Timothy B. Schmit, gave birth to the phrase What is a Parrot Head at a concert held at the Timberwolf Amphitheater in Cincinnati, OH. Jimmy Buffett was noticing that an overwhelming amount of his concert goers were wearing tropical clothing and parrots on their heads. After seeing that enough times, the term was born by Timothy when he called them all Parrot Heads on a whim.

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The simple definition?

A Parrot Head simply refers to someone who is a fan of Jimmy Buffett's music and lifestyle that he promotes....and they are EVERYWHERE!

Flocking around and enjoying life, these crazy hat wearing folks are always smiles from ear to ear. For someone like me who is a big Jimmy Buffett fan, I thought that Parrot Heads were known by all, even to those that don't sing about trying to find their lost shaker of salt. After all, Jimmy Buffett has been on the scene since the 1970's and the term came out in the 1980's. So everyone should know who or what they are, right? I mean really, who would dare ask "What is a Parrot Head"? Sad to say my fellow Island Jay followers, but you would be wrong like me to think this question answers itself.

They are not some "crazy person" dressed up in a colorful outfit. The group is a true melting pot of all ethnic backgrounds and professions. From bartenders to someone that just passed the bar exam, it is not uncommon to see a professor or doctor donning a hat full of bird feathers and handing out drinks at a Jimmy Buffett concert.


Nowadays, a Parrot Head isn't just for Jimmy Buffett concerts anymore.

You could very easily see them at a Kenny Chesney or Zac Brown Band event. Even fellow Island Jay writer, Matt Hoggatt, has been known to have a few show up to his events.

There is another side of the lifestyle that is truly amazing. With the approval of Jimmy Buffett, clubs and organizations were allowed to be formed, but under one condition. All groups must be a non profit charitable organization. This could include charity events or anything that gives back to a local community. From this spawned many organizations. Scratch that. It's more like hundreds of organized groups around the planet. One of the biggest are the Parrot Heads in Paradise, whom are worth checking out. So in a different sense, the groups also do good things for the community.

Chances are you know a one or two. When the time strikes, they open up their closets at home, put on their best tropical t-shirt and place a stuffed parrot on their head. They load up the car with a blender, grill, food, and set up camp many hours before a well anticipated Jimmy Buffett concert. The best part? A true Parrot Head is also generous, often sharing what they bring with their fellow flockers.

Not sure if being a Parrot Head is for you? No problem.

Just join them at any organized event and you will see why we all love this lifestyle. If you see a few Parrot Heads in their natural environment tailgating at a Jimmy Buffett concert, why not join them. You may get tossed a tropical concoction and a cheeseburger, too!



  • Johnny B good

    Jimmy was a legend! He had a great attitude and everyone loved every single one of his songs! Not like some bands, where you like 1 or 2. This guy was phenomenal! He will be missed. I was lucky to see him at the old Great Woods venue in MA! It was a great night, everyone tailgating and leaving all their worries behind! No rough neck stuff, no fights breaking out! Everyone was a good neighbor!

    Jimmy was a legend around the world. He had do many followers. When I say that I don’t just mean the parrot heads, I’m talking about the fans that followed him from concert to concert!

    I so wish I was able to hear him play again. I’m sure you’re at Margaritaville! God bless you and I hope yo hear your music again when we meet at Msrgariraville in the sky. Rest in peace!

  • Jimmy J

    Jimmy Buffet is a lifestyle. If you get it, you get it. He has a huge following in the Northstar state!

    Moving to Minnesota, I was struck by the overwhelming passion that the locals have for Jimmy Buffett and his laid-back lifestyle. From the music playing in bars and restaurants to the clothing and decor in shops, it’s clear that his influence has permeated the culture here. Even those who may not be die-hard fans seem to appreciate the spirit of relaxation and fun that he embodies. It’s easy to see why his music and message resonate so deeply with people, and I can definitely understand why Minnesota has embraced him so enthusiastically. Overall, it was a refreshing and enjoyable experience to witness this unique aspect of the state’s culture.

  • Matthew

    I was there at timberwolf, which was actually at Mason Ohio. Walked out after 4 songs. He sucked then as he sucks now

  • Maureen Heck

    Help! I Recently moved to Bakersfield California and there’s not a parrothead in sight. Really???

  • Maureen Heck

    Help! I Recently moved to Bakersfield California and there’s not a parrothead in sight. Really???

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