After a 4 year run at Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores I may have to call it quits.
A festie fan by nature I have a pretty low bar for what is a-ok when it comes to this particular sport. That’s what it is, a sport. You set up your wish list of bands and run like hell (23 miles this weekend, thank you very much) to catch maybe 80%. You miss the final (and often best runs of every show because you are hightailing it to the other side of nowhere to get a good spot for whomever is next. In this case through the sand. Ever try sand jogging? With weights? So that.
There has been (in my humble opinion) a downhill slide at Hangout. I keep going back because the aforementioned sand is sugary, and white and warm. Right up to the gorgeous Gulf. So throw in music and it’s almost a no brainer. Almost.
This festival is taking a corporate turn (Goldenvioce anyone?) that kills the natural rhythm of a festival. Gone are the vendors with artistic creations that will garner one of a kind souvenirs. Now there is a giant Subway tent. Not even shitting. Forget those amazing earrings you will cherish for a lifetime. You can grab a footlong and throw it up after your 18 bud lights in the Alabama heat. DSW tried to down play their “tent” by adding succulents and a bracelet making station. Next to the shoes. That they sell at the mall. And while I may be getting older the crowd is certainly getting younger. I have mad respect for those who sport nothing but a bikini and strategically placed glitter all weekend long but the drunk and lewd college boys…just no. First year I have seen so much stupid drunk and am shocked so few were arrested.
Leading to my next point, my ride or die happens to be 10. If you are planning to properly manage a child at a festival be prepared to dig deep for VIP. Even that seemed to take a turn this year. Was the free sun block and bug spray really cutting the profit margin on $1300 wristbands?
PS liquor sponsors make sense, Festival merch sponsors do not.
Oh, and Mother Nature was feeling a little bitchy with severe warnings all weekend. All told only 2 shows were cut short that I know of and evacuation Saturday night was after almost full sets.
Having said all that there is still the music. Not the best line up this year but much like pizza
it is hard to f up music. Unless you are DJ Snake who pulled out day of with no explanation. The short version goes a little something like this:
Mumford and Sons do what they did. 21 Pilots were solid and did a few songs with Mute Math. Then Tyler Johnson took a spill on stage. Festival was evacuated. Non-related. Lil Yachy did get women to throw bras but also frat boys threw bottles. Chance the Rapper had the most peaceful and loving crowd and a killer set. Duffy was dirty but everyone dug him. Sassy Charli XCX was campy and fun on a sunny afternoon. Phoenix and Band of Horses came the closet to festival feel jam in my mind. Hands down best show Young the Giant. Side stage bands worth a listen-cute boy band The Heydaze, Philly born Mondo Cozmo, badass rocker chick LP, and last but definitely not least dynamic duo Lewis Del Mar.
So you don’t feel like you missed anything be sure to peruse photo overload.