Our sunburns are fresh, our ears are still ringing, and OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” is playing on repeat in our minds. Hangout Fest 2014 is officially in the books, and although we might still be a bit hungover, we feel confident calling it the best year yet.
But before we get ahead of ourselves and start counting down the days until we can do it all over again in 2015, this year’s festival deserves some ample reflection time.
This year Hangout Fest exploded and grew to epic proportions. It ended up being a total sell out, making it quite reminiscent of gigantic festivals, such as the infamous Bonnaroo. Just substitute the grass and mud mixture for sugar white sand and add a clear view of the Gulf of Mexico in the background and you’ve got yourself one heck of a festival environment, topped off with some picture perfect weather.
From Girl Talk during Thursday night’s Discover Great Kickoff Party, all the way to OutKast closing out the festival Sunday with every hit single imaginable (and more we had almost forgotten about), we certainly got our fill of dancing and then some. We also finally learned what “Turn Down For What” means, considering we lost count of how many times we heard it playing (or being yelled) this weekend.
Still there were quieter coveted moments to be had, including Conor Oberst’s Friday night set, taking place at the same time as Queens of the Stone Age. While Oberst may have made jokes about drawing the short straw and being personally bummed on having to miss Queens, the intent crowd holding onto his every word clearly wouldn’t wish themselves anywhere else but singing along in a nostalgic Bright Eyes daze.
Oberst’s set wasn’t the only time widespread nostalgia happened over the course of the weekend. Between Modest Mouse and The Killers on Saturday night, nostalgia might as well have been Hangout’s middle name.
From start to finish, Hangout Fest 2014 gave us all a shared surreal experience. On top of the music and the larger moments, sometimes the best moments are the quiet, small ones like discovering a new band or randomly bumping into an old friend. If you were lucky enough to be at Hangout Fest this weekend, we hope you took home plenty of both. We certainly did.