With summer rapidly approaching, the elements of a perfect getaway become most ideal: beach, music, friends, nice weather, and girls in bikinis. The Hangout Music Festival takes all of these things into consideration by bringing the three day festival experience to the white sands of Gulf Shore, Alabama. Hangout boasts the fact that they are the exclusive festival when considering beach side proximity and experience. By creating the setting of something similar to paradise, giddiness is among the anticipation.
One issue some people may raise with the festival is that there is no camping available. The question of whether one prefers the grittier “toughin-it” atmosphere a traditional camping festival would enable, there is something about condos overlooking the gulf that sounds pretty enticing- or better yet, lounging on the sand, with a cold drink, wafting to sounds from the sea or the stages of world class music. People will manage just fine.
In fact, enough people to sell out Hangout Fest less than two weeks before the it kicks off, leaving a slew of procrastinators scrambling for a way to see what this festival is all about. Down in New Orleans and the surrounding gulf coast region, people are getting seriously pumped up for this event. In lieu of recent tragedies affecting this region, a music festival with such allure is deserving. Between the state after Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, tornadoes devastating Alabama, and the current status of flooding in the Mississippi river’s sprawl, there is a natural need for escape and fun.
Hangout offers this mostly with the existence of Gulf Shores, Alabama, but what is truly important is the execution of the festival activities and the wide variety of amazing music to be experienced. Many attendees will have to rely on the shuttle service offered by the festival that connects nearly all condos and hotels in the area. Music ends each night at 11:00 and then a few late night shows will follow, which will undoubtedly sell out.
The line up for this festival is one of the most enticing on the large festival circuit in the United States right now, featuring an eclectic group of coveted acts and quality performers. Headlining the event is legend Paul Simon, the Foo Fighters, and the Southeast favored Widespread Panic. The rest of the line up covers a wide variety of genres of both established and rising musicians and bands, such as Cee-Lo Green, The Black Keys, and Matisyahu, providing some tough scheduling decisions (like STS9 or My Morning Jacket). However, such a problem is never a bad one to have as it speaks to the potency of the bill.
One band not to miss is Ween, whose live performances and cult following has developed into a community of devoted fans along with excellent song writing. Another act that is most intriguing would be Rich Aucoin, who along with an early festival set is being featured in a late night show, which is labeled “Live in 3D”. Guaranteeing an intensely fun and energetic experience – this may be the sleeper pick of the festival. So get ready for an amazing weekend and we’ll get back to you after the festival!
By Danny Goodman