The Hangout Festival Experience Day 1 2013 #ReggaeReflection
One thing for certain is the Hangout Festival lives up to its name and has done so in a relatively short period of time. At the center of the festival is a local landmark restaurant aptly named The Hangout and from which the festival is based. The Hangout’s slogan “Where 59 ends and the fun begins” refers to its location at the end of Route 59 and is an accurate description of all the activities taking place. There were numerous places to hangout within the festival grounds. One could chill and listen to your favorite type of music ranging from EDM , Rock, Alt Rock, Reggae, Hip Hop, Country and everything in between. One section of the beach was transformed into an Island Oasis complete with a stretch of grass running down to the Rum Bar along with hammocks nestled under palm trees next door. Plenty of cooling misters were located all over the festival grounds.
The festival which started in 2010 has evolved into a 3 day festival with 5 stages often running concurrently each day. Each stage varied in size from a large covered tent which entertained the youngest crowd with high energy Hip Hop and EDM sets from popular artists such as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Public Enemy, and Kendrick Lemar; to the largest stage (one of two stages located directly on the white sandy beach) reserved for the festival headliner acts Kings of Leon, Tom Petty, and Stevie Wonder closing out the festival on Sunday night.
While most of the stages had very nice VIP viewing areas, it was the main stage that really stood out with their Super VIP 2 story cabana type structures making it a very pleasant experience to view the headliner performances. MTV and VH1 provided unprecedented coverage including a livestream of a majority of the acts making everyone at home wish they were in Gulf Shores having as much fun. Check out many of the clips on hangout.mtv.com
The only drawback I could even barely mention is that with over 60 bands scheduled there is just too much to choose from so I did my best to attend the Reggae, Hip Hop, and R&B sets along with several rock bands I wanted to check out. Last but not least on my list, a performance from my long time favorite rock legend Tom Petty whom I have not seen since my early rock concert going days.
Check out coverage for Day 2 & 3 below
Day 1 Photos & highlights with Toots & The Maytals, Ryan Bingham and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Toots delivers a beach party on the Chevrolet Stage
View the Slide show for more photos of Toots and the Maytals
Ryan Bingham performs on the Letting Go Stage
View the Slide Show for more photos of Ryan Bingham
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Energize the Boom Boom Tent
View the Slide Show for more photos of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
#HangoutFest Scenes from Day 1
My favorite was the inflatable cactus decorated with the patriotic flag and buttons.
Hangout Festival Logistics
Where to stay: Plan early and book a beach side accommodation on the Gulf Shores. The Hangout Festival website had a variety of lodging sites listed. Also nearby is the town of Foley. While it is not beach side, it had a variety of more reasonably priced accommodation choices and was a good proximity to drive just a few miles to one of the multiple Hangout Festival Shuttle locations making it an easy and efficient way to get to the Hangout Festival. Three Day Shuttle Passes were available for $50 and could be purchased online. An EventBrite android app provided me with an electronic ticket in exchange for a Shuttle bracelet.
What to Bring / Wear: It’s HOT on the beach. Bring lots of sunscreen, shades, a hat, your swimsuit, towel, smart phone (use the Hangout Fest app to see the schedule and festival map!), cash and credit card/Atm Card. Atms were readily available. Try not to carry too much as you will be walking a lot from stage to stage. No wheels as some of the stages are directly on the sandy beach. Attire of the Hangout Festival Patrons ranged from bikini clad to some pretty outrageous costumes.
All in all , the Hangout Festival was one the most organized and best executed festivals I have attended recently with a steady throng of patrons coming and going throughout the 12 hours of festivities each day. One of the great aspects about the beach boulevard location of the festival is that patrons can come and go as they please after passing thru security each time. This allowed patrons to frequent many of the local business located on the outside of the Hangout Festival. I took advantage of this to take a break each day and sample some great fresh Gulf seafood from some of the well known restaurants in the area.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Hangout Festival Experience and just may have to make those reservations very soon!