Jimmy Buffett is becoming a regular in San Diego.
On Sept. 16, the veteran singer-songwriter and his band, The Coral Reefers, drew an overflow audience of more than 20,000 to their crowd-pleasing performance at the KAABOO Del Mar festival. Next spring, Buffett will be in residence at the La Jolla Playhouse, which will debut his first musical, “Escape to Margaritaville,” slated to open in May.
Now comes word that the tropical troubadour and his band will perform Oct. 18 at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. It will be his first date at the intimate Shelter Island venue since 1984, during what was then only the third Humphreys season.
Buffett’s show here next month is part of his I Don’t Know Tour 2016, which concludes with concerts Oct. 15 at the 19,000-capacity Golden 1 Center in Sacramento and Oct. 22 at the nearly 17,000-capacity Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.
Humphreys has a capacity of just 1,450. Securing Buffett to perform there is a coup for the venue, which opened in 1982 and this year has featured concerts by Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band the Tom Petty-led band Mudcrutch. Buffett’s date will be followed with Humphreys performances by, respectively, Willie Nelson on Oct. 19 and comedian Tracy Morgan on Oct. 20.
“Buffett’s agent called us in December and asked us to hold a date in October. They didn’t tell us who it was for, which is not that unusual for a big act,” said John Wojas, the vice president for AEG Live San Diego, which exclusively books Humphreys.
“Two weeks later they told us the hold was for Buffett, and we were thrilled. Then they said we couldn’t announce it until after KAABOO, which is fine, because this will sell out in an instant. The fastest sellouts we’ve had at Humphreys are Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, Whitney Houston and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. This could beat those.”
Tickets for Buffett’s show at Humphreys went on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through the Ticketmaster website, ticketmaster.com, and by phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are priced at $159 each, plus service charges, with a four-ticket per customer limit. No tickets will be sold at Humphreys or at Ticketmaster outlets.
To prevent ticket-scalping, only paperless tickets will be sold. Upon arriving at the venue, attendees must have a valid ID and the credit card they used to purchase their tickets. Ushers will scan each credit card, print out a receipt, ensure the name on the ID matches the name on the credit card, then escort attendees to their seats.
“This is the first time we’ve ever used paperless tickets,” said Humphreys Concerts Vice President Bobbi Brieske. “It’s to make sure tickets stay in the hands of the fans who bought them.”
No dinner or hotel packages will be available for Buffett’s show, which will start at 7:30 p.m.