Photo by: Hangout Music Fest / YouTube
Photo by: Hangout Music Fest / YouTube

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Photo by: Hangout Music Fest / YouTube
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Words by: Theodore King, Matthew McGuire
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The 2015 Hangout Music Festival had absolutely beautiful weather on the Gulf Coast this past May 15-17.

Close to 40,000 tickets were sold making it truly a gigantic festival. The festival has kept numbers limited to meet the needs of the intimate environment of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Packed with a plethora of bands performing on seven different stages the engineering that goes into pulling this festival off is astonishing.  Scattered throughout the festival grounds are all the amenities that make the Hangout Festival truly unique and memorable.

The Hangout brings in local sculptures and artist to add their creative touch throughout the festival grounds. This adds another layer of immersion for the fans.   The festival is riddled with vendors and boutiques and various culinary tents pawing at your taste buds.

The festival has two main stages that are setup on the beach which are located on opposite ends of each other. From the Hangout stage (main stage) to the Surf stage is quite a trek through the sand on a hot day surrounded by thousands of fans eagerly wanting to catch the next act. Luckily, the engineers behind this marvelous festival have cleverly setup rest areas, that provide shade if you need to cool down as you trek across the sandy white beach. Located in the middle of the two stages is the Malibu Beach House which usually hosts a DJ and inspires some of the best dance crowds I have ever witnessed.
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This was my third year attending the Hangout Festival, and I am always amazed at the attention of detail the staff and organizers give to make each year better than the prior.  When you plan a vacation you should include the Hangout Festival on your bucket list.  It has everything a vacation has to offer wrapped up in a blanket full of sounds that warm and embrace you for four sweet days.

Throughout the four days of music, Phantogram produced one of the best sets of the weekend. The group has expanded from a duo into a full band with layers and a beautiful mixture of analog and digital. Their set Sunday night on the Palladia Stage embodied the breakthrough talent that appears each year at the Hangout Festival.
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[/av_content_slide] [/av_content_slider] [av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′] [av_heading heading=’Xavier Rudd at Hangout Music Festival’ tag=’h5′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading] [av_image src=’https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.138/v74.b35.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/11219086_10152831405690671_1717369759330201509_n.jpg’ attachment=’9482′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’bottom-to-top’ styling=” hover=’av-hover-grow’ link=’lightbox’ target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’] Xavier Rudd at the Hangout Music Festival. Photo by: XR MGMT/Facebook [/av_image] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half] [av_content_slider heading=” columns=’1′ animation=’slide’ navigation=’arrows’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ font_color=” color=”] [av_content_slide title=’Friday, May 15′ link=” linktarget=”] Day one started with mild temperatures, and a slight overcast making for a beautiful day to begin the 2015 Hangout Music Festival. Upon arrival Friday, I immediately made a mad dash to the Boom Boom Tent where Five Knives were set to go on. Anna Worstell is the lead singer for the group and they took the Boom Boom Tent by storm with an energy straight from Nashville, Tennessee. The energy and momentum they brought to the fans was bar none in comparison to several acts that were on the bill. With a music genre uniquely combing stylish lyrics, trance beats, and rock vibes they had the whole tent jumping. Five Knives has a truly unique sound that vibrates throughout your body and propels you into motion. At one point during the show Anna disappears from stage, and returns with stacks full of cash (fake money). She starts pandering to the crowd thus adding to the intensity of an already hyped crowd. The music barely noticeable playing in the back ground and then you hear it. Bursting in your ear drums like a space shuttle launching the base hits and the stacks of cash go flying into the crowd. I literally felt my heart jump out of my chest as the crowd erupted into dance. This is exactly why people from all over the world attend the Hangout Music Festival to create lasting memorable experiences with friends and family. With a commanding stage presence Anna and Five Knives truly set the atmosphere with an excessive indulgence that I like to call “The Hangout Music Festival”. Zella Day, based out of Pinetop, Arizona, brought their A-game to the Palladia Stage on Friday afternoon. Their western pop overtones were refreshing in many ways.

“You all look beautiful today. All half dressed.” – Zella Day 

After getting down and dirty with Zella Day, I caught Dirty Heads on the Surf Stage. The carefree spirit was in full force this year at Hangout. Most bands were energetic with a blissful attitude. California rockers, Dirty Heads brought a more aggressive tone to the festival, as well as a laid back vibe on Friday afternoon. The festival organizers do well at building energy with the different acts throughout the day.

“Let’s do this for the rest of the summer.” – Dirty Heads

Break Science, an electronic duo, was originally scheduled to perform at the Pre-Party on Thursday, but were rescheduled for 3:45-5:00 in the Boom Boom Tent. Their blend of live percussion and electronic remixing is always fresh, and thrilling to experience live. Indie rockers, Houndmouth graced and rocked the crowd on the BMI Stage. The stage setup was similar to pervious years. The Salt Life stage replaced the Red Bull Stage from 2014. The layout to festival remain mostly constant in 2015. Umphrey’s McGee 5:00-6:15 | Surf Stage


Gramatik kept the crowd bouncing in the Boom Boom Tent before I made my way to the Palladia Stage to see a special set featuring Galactic with Macy Gray. The collaboration will be featured across the states this summer, with an unveiling at Hangout Fest. During one of the tracks, Gray spoke about the lyrics in her music.

“This is a love song I wrote after me and my boyfriend kept fighting all the time. So, one night he came home, rolled a big fat joint, and we got stoned. It’s a love song.” – Macy Gray

Sam Smith was unable to perform this year, and Jack Ü, comprised of Diplo and Skrillex, shut down the Boom Boom Tent, as the Foo Fighters shut down the Hangout Stage on Friday evening.

“We gave a lot of songs to play and very little time. We are going to keep going until they kick us off the f^*$ing stage, because I don’t know when I will get to see you again. So, let me tell you one thing, it’s going to be a long f^*$ing night.” – Dave Grohl

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The second day continued to bring in beautiful faces from all over the country. Locals and international guests mingled together around the city, and on the festival grounds. The weather remain constant and excellent for outdoor conditions.

MTV was on hand once again this year with live streaming and videos available to view on the Hangout Music Festival‘s main website.

Xavier Rudd and the United Nations kicked off music on the Hangout Stage on Saturday, May 16. His international presence is soul-refreshing.

After Rudd’s performance, a hot up-and-coming act, Elle Kingtook the BMI Stage, and owned it. Her style and approach to live music is fierce.

Talib Kweli hosted a memorable set in the Boom Boom Tent from 3:30-4:45. His honest, and courageous attitude created an uplifting energy in the crowd. His set featured live instruments to back up his catalog of music.

Skrillex, produced new music crafted specifically for the Hangout Music Festival. He performed as the clouds moved over the festival grounds, and as the sun rested over the beach.

Major Lazer and the Zac Brown Band capped off music on Saturday evening.

ZBB Setlist:

  • Homegrown
  • Uncaged
  • Kashmir  ||  (Led Zeppelin cover)
  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia  ||  (The Charlie Daniels Band cover)
  • Beautiful Drug
  • Goodbye in Her Eyes
  • Knee Deep
  • Enter Sandman  ||  (Metallica cover)
  • One Day
  • Keep Me in Mind
  • Three Little Birds  ||  (Bob Marley cover) (with Xavier Rudd)
  • Remedy
  • Loving You Easy
  • Neon / Isn’t She Lovely
  • Castaway
  • Colder Weather
  • Day for the Dead
  • Toes
  • Tomorrow Never Comes
  • Bohemian Rhapsody  ||  (Queen cover)
  • Heavy Is the Head
  • Chicken Fried

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On the final day of the event, I was fueled with energy early in the day. I was parked and ready to rage for the Tove Lo set on the Surf Stage.

“This is already my favorite festival in the world.” – Tove Lo

“All you beautiful half naked people. I can stay on the f%$#ing beach forever”. Tove Lo

Vance Joysinger songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. He brought his original tunes to the Hangout Stage on Sunday afternoon. The band won over audiences with their beachside fiesta approach to the concert.

The performances on the Hangout Stage draw the largest crowds of the weekend. After Vance Joy, I setup for Foster the People to ride into the sunset on Sunday evening. Concerts held on the beach have a well-balance to them, as each concert ends, another one is ready to go.

Phantogram and My Morning Jacket split the stage time before Beck‘s final set of the weekend on the Hangout Stage. Sunday evening was packed with stellar talent.

MMJ Setlist:
  • Believe
  • Compound
  • Circuital
  • Infancy
  • Spring
  • Off the Record
  • Phone
  • Big D
  • Tropics
  • Memories
  • Victory
  • Wordless
  • Touch Me 2
  • One Big Holiday

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