For several years now, I’ve been hearing about this ultimate destination music festival that takes place in Gulf Shores, AL called Hangout Fest. Coachella is corporate LA. Bonaroo is Woodstock redux. ACL is Austin weird. Hangout supposedly has taken all the best portions of every music festival, refined them and placed them in one of the most chill, beautiful locations on earth. Years past definitely had line-ups that were more in line with my listening preferences. 2013 alone featured Tom Petty, The Black Crowes, Stevie Wonder, Govt Mule, Jason Isbell and Shovels & Rope to name a few. A trip through the past few years of showbills will show a line-up that is hard to beat. The opportunity to head to Hangout 2016 presented itself and I jumped at the chance. Line-up sight unseen. Even the worst EDM can be tolerated for a bit with the white sand scenery of Gulf Shores.
Originally, I was to be joined by a large group of buddies. One by one they’ve dropped out down to one, The Mayor. We’ll be meeting up and crashing at a condo full of mutual friends and acquaintances. Logistics are still fluid. Everyone already on beach time. Once it was set in stone that I’d be attending, I applied for press credentials on a whim. I was ecstatic when I was approved. I had to pitch my story idea, explain what I wanted to do etc. I made the grade. I’ll be alongside Rolling Stone, Spin, AXS, MTV etc. It’s like being called up from the Durham Bulls or Round Rock Express. Definitely in over my head. There are many great acts on the bill that I’m looking forward to, but chief among them are Jason Isbell, Leon Bridges and Alabama Shakes. I intend to put a GW spin on the whole thing and report back to Texas/OK with funny, revealing dispatches about the festival at large. People watching, music discovering and hopefully a cool interview or two.
I’ve yet to arrive and am already super impressed by the way the folks producing this put this party on. They’re organized, professional and have thought of just about everything. I’m excited to go live like Jimmy Buffett and write like Hunter S. Thompson for three days. If there’s an act on the bill you are particularly interested in, drop me a note and I’ll attempt to bring them into the Galleywinter vortex for a moment. I plan to tell the story of the attendees too. I’ve heard that there’s a mix of everything from 18 year olds to 85 year olds. I want to find the oldest person there and see what they think of Florcence+The Machine. I want to see if Calvin Harris brings his girlfriend. I want to corner The Weeknd and ask him if he knows the signs of a stroke. Maybe Killer Mike of Run the Jewels will prophesize on Donald Trump. And above all, I hope to play 20 Questions with Isbell, Leon and Brittany. GW will be in the big leagues for a weekend and I intend to max it out. I love the saltwater and white sands…as much as anyone with Scotch-Irish heritage can. I may be covered in sleeves and lathered in sunscreen, but I’ll be soaking it all up. Stay tuned to our socials! Full recap when I get back and recovered.See you on the beach Hangout!