Hangout – 2016 Edition

Let’s back it on up to talk about what an amazing weekend we all had at Hangout Music Festival.

This was no usual festival experience on concrete, fields, dirt or the oh-so-loved mud pit. Being able to watch your favorite artists with sand between your toes is such an awesome feeling. Hangout was pretty much an adult playground: live music, rides, shops, the beach, incredible food, summer cocktails and lots and lots of beer.

Other than the unfortunate torrential downpour that kicked off day one, the weather was beautiful. It was hot no doubt, but the breeze steadily blew to keep us all cool. Hopefully everyone wore ample sunscreen so a burn wasn’t on your forecast! Luckily, day one’s rain didn’t delay us all too much. Big Grams did not disappoint, as Phantogram and Big Boi tore it up at the Surf Stage. Nashville’s Moon Taxi was amazing as well, covering “All Along the Watchtower” and brought a constant energy to their show. The Alabama Shakes absolutely killed it, and brought a euphoric experience to the crowd. To close out the night, The Weeknd performed for a HUGE crowd, ending a successful first day of Hangout.

Day two brought unfortunate news for Calvin Harris fans, for he got in a car accident rendering him from being able to perform that night. He is okay, luckily, and we wish him the best, of course. The Hangout staff did an amazing job at updating the schedule, and Panic! At the Disco was moved to the final headliner. They truly did an amazing job at juggling set times all weekend and keeping festival attendees updated on changes. While it was an amazing day, it was a hot one. Advice for next year, and any festival in the heat like this was, it is imperative that a high SPF sunscreen is packed and brought with inside the venue (make sure to get the right size bottle that is allowed by the festival), and that you stay hydrated all day long.

The glitter station was a hit, because so many folks were covered head to toe in glitter, bringing their pizazz to Saturday. Another crowd favorite was digging holes in the sand complete with a back prop to create your own Lay-Z-Boy in the sand. We saw many naps going down in those. I hope you all got a chance to go by the Pandora Point at some point during your weekend. The DJ was throwing down all our favorite tracks from the ‘90s and early ‘00s. It was a huge dance party and the crowd loved it. Portugal. The Man, one of my favorites, welcomed the sunset on the second day and rocked it on the Hangout stage. Leon Bridges, though…So. much. SOUL! His band brought it, got the crowd involved in the performance and won over our hearts. I bought his t-shirt. Fan-girling hard.

Sunday was a gorgeous day, and surely did not disappoint on all accords. The Destin, Florida-based Continuum rocked the first act on the Hangout stage. Run the Jewels got the crowd hyped at the Surf stage, as did Fetty Wap’s appearance on the Hangout stage. The girls of HAIM absolutely rocked the Surf stage, as the three sisters’ drum solo was a huge highlight of their performance. Lenny Kravitz played for a long set at the Hangout stage, and rocked the crowd with his old-time classic favorites. As you guys might have, we all were feeling the burn in our calves from walking all across the festival to the other stages to catch all the acts we wanted to see. Talk about a work out! That was one of the only drawbacks of a sandy festival I would say, but I’m not anything close to athletic so there you go. Back to the music. The Muddy Magnolias took us to church with their sultry sounds. The Gary Clark Jr. openers sounded and looked beautiful. Ellie Goulding had a massive crowd at her performance where she owned the stage in her big black T. Finally, to close out the night and festival, Florence + The Machine gave us all a gorgeous performance with their disco ball effect backdrop, incredible band and a constant booming energy coming from Ms. Welch. We watched her in awe as she ran back and forth from stage left and right and hopped off to run through the crowd, giving hugs and holding hands with her fans in her gorgeous billowing sky blue dress. A firework show to the entire song “Sweet Home Alabama” ended the weekend.

Shout out to the staff for a two-thumbs-up job in serving drinks and food, manning lines for the bathroom and water, keeping the app up to date and notifications coming on all things throughout the festival, keeping the beaches clean and an overall amazing job at putting on Hangout 2016. I know many people have already gotten their tickets for next year while attending this year, either by purchase or willing to pick up trash in order to possibly win tickets. A few awesome things stuck out during the weekend: for one, you could get hitched at Hangout. Not officially of course, but a certificate was given to the newly weds and there was a line, so it was definitely a hit. The VIP festival-goers had access to two pools, which is awesome. And, being the live music lover that he is, my dad watched the festival from AXS TV all weekend long and recorded it so I could watch it sometime. How cool to be able to re-watch some of my favorite acts. Way to go AXS!

Five-star review for Hangout 2016. Can’t wait to see what they come out with next year!

This has been another guest review from Anna Martin.