As far as festivals go, Hangout Fest is still in its infancy. This eclectic music festival, brought to you by the gorgeous beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama, is only four years old! Even though it was born in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it has rapidly grown in popularity, reaching attendances of 40,000 people a day and bringing in huge acts along the way. This year, the festival took place Friday, May 16th through Sunday, May 18th, showcasing weather you could only dream of for a festival of this stature. The crew even wore t-shirts that said “Be Nice or Go Home”. Although, it proved impossible to get upset in paradise!
South Carolina rockers NEEDTOBREATHE kicked off Saturday with one of the best shows of the festival! They’re known for their live shows, and this performance definitely lived up to the hype. They played a great mix of new songs off of their brand new album Rivers in the Wasteland (QRO review), and old favorites with a twist – they transformed one of their biggest hits, “Something Beautiful”, into part of a foot tappin’ rock song that you’ll have to hear to believe! Combined with their amazing stage and lighting, this is a show you should keep an eye out for.
Amos Lee brought it to the main stage in the early afternoon. He nailed his performance, making a brilliant show even better by bringing in a gospel choir from Mobile, Alabama! They performed about half of his set with him, and it was thrilling to watch!
As the sun set over the beach, The Flaming Lips took the Chevrolet Stage in true Flaming Lips fashion – silver streamers, amazing costumes, plus a few crowd additions, like giant rubber duckies to throw around the audience. You can’t help but smile while watching them perform, their energy is so positive and they are a blast to watch!
Fitz & The Tantrums kept the good vibes rolling with their early evening performance at the Palladia Stage. They drew in a huge crowd with their fun set, playing their hits like “Moneygrabber” and “Out of My League”.
The crowd surrounded the main stage for the last show of the night, The Killers! These charming guys brought down the house, playing all of their hits, plus a killer (pardon the pun) rendition of the CCR classic, “Bad Moon on the Rise”. The night ended beautifully with fireworks during their last song, reflecting off of the ocean; an amazing end to an amazing day.
-words: Kelsey Kufner
-photos: Sara Bill