Seven Stages and +70 Live Acts

The Hangout Music Festival officially kicked off with wet weather. This year, The Weather Channel’s forecast was almost dead on. 3 days prior to the event, a storm system was shown to be moving into the area.

On Thursday evening the weather wrecked the lighting rig for The Weeknd. He did perform a short set of hits on stage later in the evening. Alabama Shakes and Walk the Moon each delivered in perfect weather Friday night.


Hangout Fest did a good job at working with the weather, and getting the gates opened as soon as the storm cells and lighting passed. Once the gates were opened, the festival was officially ready for a wet and wild weekend.

Kickball at Hangout Fest 2016

Gates opened at 3:00 p.m. on Friday. I arrived at 7:30 with The Struts performing on the AXS Stage. The festival’s app did give updates, but it also had a few kinks that still needed to be worked out. When guests asked me about set times on Friday and Saturday, I would direct them to the app, and also check with festival & band’s social media.

Each year, the major cell phone distributors fail to increase the amount of bandwidth allotted for Gulf Shores, Alabama. The festival should really work on acquiring sponsorship with major telecommunications companies. It would be good for everyone.

The crowd on Friday was mellow and mainly 18-25 year olds. After attending shows with Generation X and Y, I could feel some of Generation Z entering the fold. The younger crowd drops the F word often, but rarely seems that upset. Their fashion tends to be more sport influenced with a large collection of basketball jerseys on hand. The girls dressed up in their best swimsuits.

After listening to some soft rock with Jason Isbell, I made it over to the BMI Stage for The Revivalists. This was my fourth time seeing The Revivalists live in concert.

The New Orleans-based group known as The Revivalists performed on the AXS Stage in 2013 with a midday set. During that performance, I could walk up to the 3rd row fairly easy. Their 2016 performance was packed, and I could barely make it 20 rows of people back from the stage.

The Chainsmokers and The Weeknd spilt the closing sets for Friday. After watching the first two songs from The Weeknd, I made it over to the Boom Boom Tent for The Chainsmokers. Overall, I found The Chainsmokers to be a much better fit for a headlining act. They had more energy. It felt like a headlining set. I talked with a guest in a Chewbacca mask on East Beach Boulevard during The Chainsmokers set, and danced to their live music before calling it a day.

Volleyball at Hangout Fest 2016

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Matthew McGuire is the founder and editor of Crescent Vale News. In 2014, he acquired a master's degree in Professional Media and Media Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.