Hangout Fest is back. The second annual festival will be held May 20-22 in Gulf Shores, Ala. and will feature an eclectic lineup, a new layout, an additional stage, and a few manmade lagoons to cool off in. There may even be a couple of hammocks strung up here and there.
Around 15,000 people attended last year’s festival each day, and Shaul Zislin, Hangout Fest creator, is expecting 35,000 a day this year, which would be the max amount of tickets allowed per day.
“I really think the festival might be sold out,” Zislin said. “We’ve got a bunch of new amenities this year, as well as an additional stage for children’s activities. We are really proud of the fact that we’re bringing in kids to the festival, too.”
The lineup this year features a wide range of acts such as Paul Simon, The Foo Fighters, Widespread Panic, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, Pretty Lights, Primus, Girl Talk and Cee-Lo Green.
“One of the mission statements of the festival is to allow people to get the opportunity to explore new things,” Zislin said. “We set out to make sure we included as many acts and as many genres as possible.”
Although a lot smaller, Hangout Fest’s lineup is comparable to many other big name festivals like Bonnaroo and Jazz Fest and Voodoo Fest.
“Just being mentioned in the same breath as those other festivals is an honor,” Zislin said. “We are definitely smaller, which we see as a benefit because it’s more intimate.”
This is only the second year for Hangout, but if all goes well, Hangout will continue for years, building a following and a name for itself.
“The premise from the beginning was to make something sustainable, and create a fan base,” Zislin said. “We want people to think of the Gulf Coast when they think of Hangout, and to know it’s in May and work it into their calendars each year.”
Although Hangout is becoming synonymous with the Gulf Coast, so is oil. Last year, just a few weeks before Hangout’s debut, the BP Oil rig exploded, gushing over 50,000 barrels of oil a day into the gulf. While people were still supportive of the festival, there was a lot of uncertainty and at the last minute Hangout Fest was changed into a non-profit festival, donating all proceeds to the cleanup and rehabilitation of the Gulf Coast.
“There were a lot of unknowns at the time,” Zislin said. “We didn’t know if people were going to be in danger from being on the beach.”
People were allowed on the beach, just not in the water. Faithful fans showed up despite the spill, and Zislin is hoping for the same support this year.
“We have our fingers crossed,” Zislin said.
While Hangout expects to max out at 35,000 people a day, some of the other festivals like it top out at 65,000 people a day. Sometimes smaller is better, at least when it’s involving thousands of people in between you and your favorite bands.
The tickets for Hangout Fest are currently only available in three-day pass tickets for $174; three-day pass VIP tickets for $525; and a three-day Big Kahuna Super VIP pass for $900. All tickets are also available through a payment plan if you’re unable to front the entire ticket price now. To purchase tickets, visit hangoutmusicfet.frontgtetickets.com.
HANGOUT MUSIC FESTIVAL
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, May 20-22
WHERE: The Hangout, Gulf Shores, Ala.
COST: Three-day pass $174, VIP three-day pass $525, Big Kahuna Super VIP pass $900
The Flaming Lips
The Black Keys
My Morning Jacket
Old Crowe Medicine Show
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Minus the Bear
Drive By Truckers
Warren Haynes Band
Medeski Martin and Wood
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
Easy Star All-Stars
A Thousand Horses
Mariachi El Bronx
Truth and Salvage
Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights