[Photos Provided by Michelle Schmidt]

8th Annual Hangout Music Festival Rocks Gulf Shores, AL

10:16 May 22, 2017
By: Michelle Schmidt

What could have ended in a weekend weather disaster for festivalgoers attending the 8th annual Hangout Fest, actually turned out to be pleasant…for the most part.

Friday opened with cloudless skies, paired with an upbeat ambiance. Most music festivals are apt to drawings large crowds of twenty-something-year-olds who use the event as an excuse to put on display their creative side, via wardrobe, or lack thereof. Hangout Festival was certainly not an exception, taking it to the next level with its unique beach setting. While some fest-goers dressed in elaborate homemade costumes, other opted to go with bikinis and glitter, or in some cases, just glitter.

With the lack of cloud cover, Friday felt the warmest, but Hangout Festival did offer beach access for those who wanted to wait in line at select locations.  I did see a lot of people sneak off to take a break and a dip in the gulf at the beach next door. It was only about a five-minute walk from the festival gates and fairly deserted.

The two main stages were the place to be on Friday, with performances by Joseph, Strumbellas, Mac Demarco, MGMT, and Weezer. Weezer played a ninety-minute set that did not disappoint, no matter what generation of Weezer you’re a fan. Day one was in the books by 11 pm after sets by Phoenix (last minute replacement for Frank Ocean) and Dillon Francis.

It seemed as if the festival gods were going to grant the same fortune Saturday until the ominous cloud cover began to show around the early afternoon. By around 7:45, Hangout Festival officials made to call to move up the time from 9:30 to 9 pm for closing act Twenty One Pilots. The band put on a superb performance for about forty-five minutes. They, along with Sigur Rós, ultimately had to cut their act short, but not before fans got to see a memorable moment as Tyler Joseph tried to jump onto his piano, but ended up wiping out instead (I’ve never seen Twenty One Pilots and I thought I was witnessing a somewhat unlikely scenario, but apparently not, as evidenced by Joseph’s comment right after that his favorite thing to do with his father back home is Youtubing “Twenty One Pilots falling.”) They were only able to play one more song before the masses had to run and take cover from the downpour that immediately followed.

With the exception of the fact that it was overcast all day, the atmosphere on Sunday felt the most comparable to what a beach party should feel like. Shaggy and Lil Yachty provided the perfect soundtrack for the beach. Chance the Rapper’s set transitioned well with the day to night. Mumford and Sons closed the Hangout Stage, while Marshmello closed the Boom Boom Tent.

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