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Phaithful: Get ready to Phlock June 9-12

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:11 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: 17th Annual Phlocking of the Phaithful

• WHEN: June 9-12

• WHERE: Mr. Ed’s Bar & Grill, 272 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay and The Boardwalk, 341 Bayview Ave., Put-in-Bay

• COST: $80/person (registration required)

• INFO: phlocking.com

What began as a booze-in-the-blender celebration 16 years ago has evolved into, well, um, a booze-in-the-blender celebration stemming less around a certain “Margaritaville” singer and more around music and summer fun.

That’s right, it’s time once again for the Phlocking of the Phaithful event, which this year takes place June 9 through 12 at Put-In-Bay’s Mr. Ed’s Bar and The Boardwalk.

“We’re phlocking again, it’s the 17th year,” said Pittsburgh resident Pat Kaley, who alongside her husband Dan organizes the Phlocking of the Phaithful. “When we first started attending, every single singer sang Buffett music. By the end of the weekend if I heard ‘Southern Cross’ or ‘Margaritaville’ again I was going to cut my head off. They’ll probably put me in jail for saying that, but everybody sang Buffet music. It was one after another. Now, none of the artists do. We have evolved to singer-songwriters.”

Now the event is billed as featuring trop rock, the island-friendly genre varies in style from Jack Johnson to Alan Jackson. This year’s lineup features Corned Beef & Curry Band, John Reno, Sunny Jim White & John Frinzi, Latitude and Phlocking of the Phaithful regular Johnny Rodriguez.

While in theory a Parrothead-esque event without a Jimmy Buffett cover band may seem sacrilegious, Kaley points out the good tribute acts have priced themselves out of their budget. So instead, organizers turned to all original beach-music artists. 

“They’re all performing their own music, with a cover and a little bit of Buffett here and there,” Kaley said. “We’re all members of the Margarita Mafia but the byline or tagline is it’s all about the music. Basically that’s what happened to the Phlocking of the Phaithful. It’s all about the music.”

Kaley said so far 87 Parrotheads have signed up for Phlocking of the Phaithful, which this year is also doubling as a fundraising event for Corned Beef & Curry Band musician Bob Banerjee, whose wife suffers from multiple sclerosis.

Considering the grand poobah himself Jimmy Buffett will be coming to the Buckeye State later this year, he’s scheduled to play a sold-out Blossom Music Center show on July 19, these must be exciting times for Phlockers.

“Really, I haven’t been to a concert for about five years,” Kaley said. “I stopped going ever since the tickets went to $150.”

Therein lies the spirit of the Phlocking of the Phaithful event, which over the years has emerged out of Buffett’s shadow. Wait, can we still have a cheeseburger in paradise?

Laughed Kaley, “Heck yeah.”

Registration is required. Cost is $80 per person after May 21. Registration form and more info can be found at phlocking.com.

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