Sweet, sweet summer came early on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Ala., and fans of Hangout Fest sure knew how to welcome the season in style. Thousands poured into the beach town from across the Southeast and beyond, with music on their minds.
Pure excitement filled the air as festivalgoers made their way past porches with music spilling out into the streets and rows of colorful beach cruisers leaning against palm trees. On the beach, it was all about enjoying three full days of mind-blowing music, soaking in the sunshine near the gorgeous ocean backdrop and, of course, just taking time to hang out with good friends. Keep the memories alive with these top Hangout happenings:
Best blu Moments
Word got around fast about blu’s Butt Patrol, and folks were eager to Instagram their pics with these lovely ladies for a chance to win VIP access to the blu Beach Club. With a long line to get in at peak hours, those who nabbed a coveted beach chair by the water were stoked, but fans who hung around the artist tent in the Beach Club may have been even more pumped to have a chance to meet artists such as The Black Lips, Allen Stone, Robert Delong, Los Colognes and Portugal. The Man.
Most New Tunes to Share
The Black Keys brought it with plenty of new music from their Turn Blue album, which was released just days before the fest. When the set began, it seemed like all 40,000 attendees made their way to the main stage, filling the beach to hear one of the fest’s top headliners. Fans got a taste for the album with new songs like “Fever,” “Gotta Get Away” and “Bullet in the Brain.”
Most Unexpected Crowd-Pleaser
Those who weren’t admirers of Diarrhea Planet before Hangout—but ventured to their set despite the name—certainly left as fans. The Nashville-based rock band revved up the crowd when they asked people to crowd-surf on inflatable donuts to find their next Tinder match. And as a tribute to Sunday’s closing act, they shook it like a Polaroid picture with a cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”
Best Last Minute Swap
Chance the Rapper fans were bummed to hear the artist had to cancel his performance at the last minute. But in true festival form, Hangout was able to fill his slot with a second set from Moon Taxi, who also played earlier that day. The band tweeted that they would try their best to fill the rapper’s shoes during the set—and they did.
Best DJ Set
The Boom Boom Tent is where festivalgoers head to get their EDM fix throughout the weekend. A steady stream of impressive DJs and electronic bands took the stage by storm, but none gave quite as stellar a performance as Zedd. His set had the tent overflowing with fans, hands in the air and bodies grooving to the beats.
Ultimate Sundown Performance
There’s something magical about watching the sun go down at the beach while listening to live music by your favorite artists. This year, Jack Johnson performed one of these coveted set times and did the sun gods proud. And since it was his birthday, the party started on stage with a cake and a birthday song he wrote just for Hangout.
Best Show of Southern Hospitality
While artists from around the world made their way to Gulf Shores for this legendary fest, acts from the Dirty South did not fail to represent. A massive crowd gathered at the main stage for the final performance of the weekend, by Atlanta’s Outkast. But it didn’t matter where they were piling in a car to head back to the next morning; Everyone in the crowd belted out “Sweet Home Alabama” during a final fireworks show to close out another great year.