Hangout Music Festival took place on the sandy white beaches of Gulf Shores, AL on Friday to Sunday, May 20-22nd, 2022 for the first time in nearly three years. Although the weather tried to stop the festival a few times, and succeeded with a few delays, Hangout Fest pushed through and made for an amazing weekend in Gulf Shores. With arguably one of the best festival line-ups of 2022, containing headliners such as Post Malone, Tame Impala, Halsey, Fall Out Boy, and Maren Morris, there was no way the weekend could not be perfect.
The festival kicked off on Friday, May 20th, with a slight weather delay just after gates had opened. After being closed for about an hour or two due to threats of lightning, gates re-opened and the festival resumed as soon as it was safe. It was made very obvious throughout the whole weekend that the festival’s main priority was the fans in attendance. On this note, there were numerous water refill stations spread across festival grounds, as well as signs consistently being displayed across screens reminding fans to hydrate and re-apply sunscreen. There were also so many different aspects of the festival that made the experience even more special and fun for attendees. For example, there was a Ferris Wheel, disco roller skating, side stage pools for VIP, and tons of areas for photo-ops, one of which being massive blown up flamingos that attendees seemed to love. The festival did an amazing job at creating a blissful and carefree weekend for everyone who stepped foot through their gates.
With gates opening later and the schedule being changed a little, the first act caught on Friday was Oliver Tree at the Surf Stage, who was a great start to the weekend! He came out fully dressed in an astronaut suit, as he started off his set with his hit “Forget It” featuring Getter and then transitioned into another smash hit, “Alien Boy”. The crowd was loving every second of his set.
Then came Maren Morris on the main Hangout Stage, who was perfect to enjoy from the side stage pools. She put on a beautiful set that was made even better by the fact that we were on the beach. She entered the stage in a red sequin dress and started out with “Circles Around This Town” and played many other hits such as “Bones” and “My Church”.
Over on the Boom Stage was Emo Nite, who the crowd was thoroughly enjoying, as they played covers of some of the most loved emo songs! Up next at Surf Stage was Kane Brown, who put on a killer set. As he played hit songs such as “Heaven”, “One Mississippi”, “Be Like That”, and “Memory”, there were not many people in the crowd not dancing. After performing his hit “Memory”, which features Blackbear, he then covered Blackbear’s smash hit “hot girl bummer”, which the crowd loved. As his set came to an end, he ran down the barricades separating the crowd and touched hands with as many fans as possible. It was an absolutely packed crowd at the Boom Stage for T-Pain. He played hits that had everyone dancing, such as “I’m In Love With A Stripper” and “Bartender”.
Up next were Friday’s biggest headliners, Fall Out Boy and Post Malone. Fall Out Boy entered the Surf Stage with flames blazing, literally. They performed hits such as “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down”, “The Phoenix”, and even did a few throwback songs such as “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me” and “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”. Fall Out Boy’s production did not disappoint, one example being that bassist Pete Wentz quite literally had flames coming out of his bass throughout most of their set. They closed out their set with smash hit “Centuries” as fireworks shot into the sky over Gulf Shores, right before going into the song they end every set with, 2003 release “Saturday”.
After Fall Out Boy’s set, fans ran across festival grounds to get to the Boom Stage that Post Malone was about to perform on. His set did not disappoint either. He entered with the 2019 hit “Wow”. and then kept the party going with hits “Better Now” and “Saint Tropez”. Almost everyone on the beaches of Gulf Shores that night were dancing and singing along as Post Malone delivered hit after hit. Halfway through his set, we even realized we were standing right next to Saturday’s The Band CAMINO, who were enjoying his set just as much as we were! Post Malone finished out day one of the festival with smash hit “Congratulations” as fireworks were set off over the beach, it was such a beautiful moment to be a part of.
Saturday started off with an amazing set by Role Model, who fans had packed the Hangout Stage for and were giving all their energy to. Then there was Moon Taxi on Surf Stage, before heading over to the smaller BMI Mermaid Stage for Hastings. Although he just finished his first tour ever opening for later-in-the day’s The Band CAMINO (QRO photos on tour with CAMINO), he has already developed an amazing stage presence. He opened with his hit “Chapstick” before going into other hits, “Hearts Not In It” and “Not Asking For A Friend”. He even played a few unreleased songs, such as “Still” and “Blame The Breaks”. Right after his set finished, he even met with a few fans who waited to talk to him. I met a group of girls who had traveled to the festival from Minnesota just to see The Band CAMINO and Hastings!
At the Boom Stage (and somehow not the Surf Stage…) was Surf Mesa’s DJ set, which got the crowd hyped and rowdy mid-day. Actually at the Surf Stage was Chelsea Cutler, who was nothing short of amazing, as she had sparkly beach balls floating throughout the crowd during her set. She is simply one of those artists that doesn’t need a massive production to put on an amazing show, she can capture the audience with just her voice.
renforshort played the BMI Mermaid Stage, but headed over for The Band CAMINO’s set. The Band CAMINO entering the Surf Stage with their hit “Know It All”, before going into their hit “Roses”, which was actually co-written by earlier-in-the-day’s Hastings. Halfway through their set, they brought out fellow Hangout Saturday performer Chelsea Cutler to sing their song “Crying Over You”, which was beyond beautiful. It was also their first time performing it live together. TBC finished out their amazing set with “1 Last Cigarette” and “Daphne Blue”. We saw The Band CAMINO and Hastings on festival grounds many times throughout the weekend, and they were dancing and having a great time every time we saw them. They definitely seemed to enjoy and make the most of Hangout Fest!
Over at the BMI Mermaid Stage was Breland, who threw out beers to the crowd and even invited two fans on stage to see which one could shotgun a beer faster. Definitely a fun set to watch! Up next on BMI was rising star beabadoobee, who put on a wonderful set with songs such as “Worth It”, “Coffee”, and “Cologne”.
Headlining Saturday at the Hangout Stage to was Halsey, who was even better than could have been imagined. The superstar entered the stage to a beautiful guitar solo as lights flashed, and she then began her smash hit “Nightmare”. She explained that she couldn’t have her whole production of flames and such due to the rain, but that did not stop her from putting on a killer show. After “Nightmare” she went into 2015 hit “Castle”, which she restarted after the crowd did not jump as much as she asked. She performed a good mix of old hits and new hits, playing songs such as “Easier Than Lying”, “1121”, and “The Lighthouse” from her recent album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, along with older hits “Hurricane”, “Colors”, and “Gasoline” from her 2016 release, Badlands.
Halfway through her set, she performed her hit “Be Kind”, which features marshmello, but she painted an entire painting on a giant canvas while singing. Definitely something most artists do not do. Before the grand, firework-filled finale featuring her smash hit “Without Me”, Halsey performed “Nightmare” again. But this time, the visuals on the screen behind her featured tons of photos and videos of signs from protests about abortion, arguing that it is a woman’s choice to choose. As the bridge of “Nightmare” hit one last time, a few facts were displayed across the screen about abortions in America, including that “There are now 16 states where 95% of counties do not have an abortion clinic,” and “Nearly one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime.” While these facts flashed across the screen, Halsey simply laid down in the center of the stage, letting the words sink in to everyone in attendance.
Sunday started out with a longer weather delay than Friday’s, but the weather finally cleared up allowing festival gates to open for the day. First up was Sueco at the Surf Stage, whose energy was so amazing. He ran through the barricades separating the crowd numerous times and even hopped into the crowd during his last song and moshed with the crowd. Coming next at the Surf Stage was KennyHoopla, who also had his own amazing energy and performed hits such as “Smoke Break”, “Hollywood Sucks” and “Estella”. Then at Surf was Sublime With Rome, who even had a dog roaming around with them side stage! The crowd was so stoked to see them perform, and they definitely delivered to the crowd’s expectations.
Over at the Malibu Beach House tent was GG Magree’s DJ set, which had fans enjoyed so much that they had the metal barricade coming up and down off of the sand. Up next over the Boom Stage was FLETCHER, whose on-stage energy is always amazing. She entered with smash hit “Girls Girls Girls” before going into other hits “Forever” and “Cherry”. As she ended her set with “Bitter”, she even ran down the barricade, singing with fans and touching their hands.
Back at the Surf Stage was the lovely and amazing Phoebe Bridgers, who never ceases to amaze. Watching Phoebe Bridgers perform on the beach as the sun is starting to set is something that everyone needs to experience at least once in their life. Definitely a magical experience. She performed hits such as “Kyoto”, “ICU”, and finished out her set with “I Know The End”, as the crowd screamed at the top of their lungs with her.
Out at the main Hangout Stage Jack Harlow performed, just a mere two weeks after the release of his recent album, Come Home The Kids Miss You. He entered the stage blazing with his hit “Nail Tech”, just before going into new releases “Young Harleezy” and “I’d Do Anything To Make You Smile”. Although the album had only been out for about two weeks, most of the crowd already knew the words to his new songs! Most of the fans in the first few rows of the crowd had been waiting there all day just to see Harlow. Many fans held up signs/messages for Harlow on their phones during the set which made it up onto the big screen, causing the rest of the crowd to laugh. It was already sprinkling at the beginning of his set, but about halfway through that turned into a steady rain, which ultimately turned into a complete downpour, causing Harlow to have to cut his set short, against his own judgement. As he was running around the stage with a towel over his head, he stated, “They’re going to kick me off the stage real soon, so let’s go ahead and get to the hits.” He then went into smash hits “Industry Baby” and “What’s Poppin”, which the crowd went crazy for, rain or not.
Hangout ’22 ended at the main stage with Tame Impala, who did not disappoint at all. Although it was still pouring during their set and everyone was expecting the festival to be evacuated, it did not and Tame Impala put on a killer, magical performance in the rain. Their production and light show is truly unparalleled. They had many lasers going through the crowd during their set, which the rain made look even cooler. The rain did not deter fans from staying through Tame Impala’s set, majority of people stayed and danced in the rain to songs such as “Borderline”, “Let It Happen”, and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes”.
Overall, Hangout Festival 2022 was nothing short of a success. The weather may have tried to hurt the festival, but live music always prevails. All of the performers put on amazing performances and the atmosphere all weekend was simply unmatched, what an amazing and blissful weekend. Can’t wait for Hangout Festival 2023!