Hangout Fest came to Gulf Shores, Alabama, Friday-Sunday, May 19th-21st.
Though the clouds hung ominously overhead for much of the final day at Hangout Fest, the skies never opened up – allowing all but one scheduled performer to make it to the stage Sunday.
The one performer who didn’t make it to the stage was completely out of Hangout Fest’s control. DJ Snake, one of the top ten acts on the bill, cancelled suddenly the day of the show. He then proceeded to delete all of his social media accounts, and as of Monday afternoon there’s been no word from his team as to what the issue is.
DJ Snake’s cancellation was surely a disappointment to many – but it didn’t completely derail what was otherwise an excellent day of music on the beach. Mumford & Sons delivered a powerful performance worthy of closing the entire festival, and it was followed by a monstrous fireworks display that had everyone’s eyes towards the sky.
Marcus Mumford and Co. didn’t waste any time getting into their hits, playing “Little Lion Man” just two songs into the set, which also included the live debut of a new song called “If I Say”. The show also surprisingly featured some of the more stunning visuals of the entire festival, with some flames igniting the stage in one instance.
Chance the Rapper is everywhere this summer, and Hangout Fest was the first of many major festivals he will play through the rest of the year. He had one of the largest crowds of the weekend, and he’s clearly improved his festival sets from previous years by coming on stage on time.
With DJ Snake out of the mix, it was NGHTMRE who dropped the filthiest set of the weekend with some savage dubstep that had college kids head-banging like they were at a Bassnectar show. He finished his set by playing two DJ Snake songs while offering some positive thoughts towards his peer.
One of the festival’s most intriguing bookings was Shaggy of “It Wasn’t Me” fame. The singer mostly hyped up the crowd for the first half of his set before really hitting his stride. Though it was a 1:30 PM start time on the final day of a festival weekend, he had a pretty big turnout.
I caught glimpses of Warpaint, Matoma, Grace Mitchell, and Franz Ferdinand’s sets. Warpaint was the only musical act going at the same time as Chance the Rapper, and though their crowd was sparse, they jammed out as hard as they always do. Grace Mitchell is an up-and-coming rocker who can’t be defined in one single genre, and her on-stage presence is just as enticing. Franz Ferdinand delighted the crowd with old favorites but one wonders if they’ve grown stagnant over recent years.
Heading into the weekend, Hangout Fest was looking dangerously close to having massive chunks wiped out by bad weather. That only 30 to 45 minutes of the festival was cancelled is a massive victory.
-words: Mark Ortega
-photos: courtesy of Hangout Festival