Hangout’s fourth year a breeze
By Matt Miller, Lauren Fyfe, Brittney Bryant, Catherine Marler Rapp, Emily Leahey, Rebecca Swain, Steven Hines, Brendon Rapp, Andrew Leahey & Rusty Odom
Photo by Rusty Odom
When I look back on all the music festivals I’ve attended, I try to think about the way each made me feel.
At this point, I’ve been to a few dozen different weekend-long musical gatherings so I’ve seen many of the bands that play the festival circuit. That’s why I always lean on the emotion attached to each festival atmosphere when I pull a memory from the bank. Those feelings don’t ever change. And Hangout just feels so good.
By now you’re probably familiar with BLANK’s obsession with the festival.
Something related to the Hangout has graced the cover of BLANK and the slidebar at blanknews.com more than anything else, and Knoxville is a good 8 hours away from Gulf Shores, Alabama.
But we’ve gotten by with it. But we’ve more than gotten by with it.
No one treats their guests better than the organizers of Hangout Festival.
Luxury is abundant for guests at all ticket levels. While there is not much retreat from the sun on the two beach stages if you want to dance in the sand (and of course, you do), the ocean provides a pleasant breeze for the better part of the day. And between all the water filling stations, on site air-conditioned restaurants, mist tents and general covered areas, keeping it cool is not a problem. The free swag that you find at Hangout is especially tailored to the beach experience and is noticeably nicer and in greater abundance than your average multi-show. Customized beach towels and fanny packs from the Chevy experience are met with beach mats from a Palladia tent and sunglasses from Grooveshark. If you’re a VIP, grab some free sunscreen from Panama Jack, SPF’s from 15-50. This stuff is more than convenient; it’s stuff you use before you leave the festival.
It’s a first class experience in terms of accommodations, but it would all be nothing without the music.
Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Toots & the Maytals and Public Enemy; these are the reasons that people from all corners of the globe converge on Gulf Shores, Alabama each May.
The locals have taken to the event with open arms, for the most part, and there are fewer problems for them to deal with than those hosting the average fest. Over four days of festivities, only 66 people were arrested out of an estimated 35,000 in attendence, and 12 of those came all at once in a Hollywood style money-counterfeiting ring (Really?). That number included zero crimes of a violent nature and is down from years past. The need for hospital visits was also down in 2013 with only ten.
Perhaps the beach brings out the best in people. And it can certainly bring out the best in the performers.
Here are our highlights from each day, along with some of our discoveries, those wonderful sunset shows and of course, the headliners.