Hangout Music Fest was incredible, and really just saying that doesn’t even do justice for how incredible it really was. Every single second of this past weekend was unbelievably amazing. I still can’t believe it was all packed into three days because with how I tired I felt afterward, it seemed like I was gone for at least a week. I’ve already talked about my love of The Hangout before, but this was my first time going to the music festival, so my love has definitely escalated.
Friday, May 20
When Todd’s named popped up on my phone a little before noon, I had just pulled up to Naomi’s apartment. The first thing I said to Todd was “I’ve never been so happy to see your name on my phone.” He sped over to Naomi’s, we loaded our stuff, and we were off to Hangout.
We met Todd’s friend, Derek, in Jackson, Mississippi, and overall the drive took about 7-8 hours. It would have been shorter, but we were starving and decided to stop at Subway for some sustenance. What should have been a quick food fix ended up being about thirty minutes of sandwich-making by a guy named Chandler who clearly was super excited to make our sandwiches
except not really.
When we got to the Riviera Inn in Foley, the place we’d be calling home for the next couple of days, Todd’s friend, Kevin, was there waiting. He drove over from Pensacola for Hangout. The five of us quickly unloaded our stuff and got the party started. This was my and Naomi’s first time meeting Todd’s friends, but I could already tell they were going to be a fun time.
So many things went right for us on Friday because apparently while we were on the road enjoy sunny blue skies, it was thunderstorming in Gulf Shores, so they ended up having to push back all of the acts by three hours, meaning we would make it with more than enough time to see the Chainsmokers perform. Originally, we’d be cutting it close, but with the delay, they were rescheduled to 10:45 pm, which meant we had time to go pick up our wristbands, get some drinks and wander around the beach. We also ran into a couple of our friends, Stu and Adam.
The Chainsmokers were by far my favorite performance of the entire weekend. This was probably a combination of the fact that they were the first act I saw, I was already super excited in the first place and I got to actually see them. One of the disadvantages of being short at a music festival is that if you aren’t in the first few rows, you probably aren’t seeing much. Luckily, Stu offered to put me on his shoulders for a few of the songs, and I might have gone a little crazy. Todd put Naomi on his shoulders for a few songs too, and both of us agreed that that was the best way to see the show.
Another bonus – Daya joined the Chainsmokers on stage for the last song, and she sang “Hideway.” I was a little bummed because I knew I would be missing Daya’s Friday performance. I hate that I didn’t get to hear her sing “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” but I’m glad I got to at least see her for albeit for one song.
I forgot to mention that our hotel was about 20 minutes from the festival, so we had to get an Uber, and our Uber was seriously the best. He was a Navy pilot in training, and he was also a DJ (DJ DiRTSNaP) who had opened up for 3LAU in the past. So. Neat. He ended up hanging out with us at Florabama after he picked us up from the festival. We didn’t stay there long because no one was dancing. We ended up taking our drinks outside to the beach and then leaving to go get some IHOP. Except not really because IHOP was closed. Yes, you read that right. All of us thought that it was a universal thing that all IHOPs were open 24-hours. Apparently not. It was about 1:45 in the morning, and we were so hungry. There was a gas station open across the street from our hotel, so we got some spicy chicken wings and called it a night.
Saturday, May 21
We all thought we were going to sleep in late, but we were wrong. We ended up going to IHOP (the same IHOP that was closed the night before) for some breakfast. Our waiter was so nice. There were two instances where people’s orders were messed up, so we got free red velvet pancakes and strawberry banana pancakes. Derek also arrived late and ordered his omelet to go. They gave it to him for free. I think IHOP more than made up for being closed the night before.
After getting ready, we called an Uber to come pick us up, and this guy ended up being a former Navy pilot. So crazy. He had some fun and interesting stories to tell. We met Stu, Adam and all of the people they came with at their condo then hung out for a bit before walking over to the festival to catch X Ambassadors.
Todd ran into some people he knew, and they ended up being people that my roommate, Alyssa, was hanging out with. As soon as they said they were just hanging out with Alyssa, I made a beeline to go find her. Our small groups turned into one big group, and then that big group turned into different small groups. The group I was with went to see 3LAU, and holy crap, they were freaking awesome. I don’t think I heard any of the songs I actually knew by them (which is only about three), but their set was amazing.
Toward the end of 3LAU’s set, I went to the guys’ condo and indulged in some Digornio pizza and a pina colada with a gorgeous view of the ocean from the balcony then I joined Naomi and this guy named, Cody, at the beach. The water felt amazing. I love the beach so much, and even though much of the festival was happening in the sand, it was nice to actually be in the water for a bit.
The three of us joined some other people from our group to see Hippie Sabotage. I’ve already shared my love of Hippie Sabotage before, so of course, I was excited to see them again. We ended up not staying long though because the way the stage they were playing on was set up, it felt like a sauna, plus a lot of the group hadn’t eaten yet. Naomi, Alyssa, Derek and I walked over to Shrimp Basket while the rest of them stayed behind. I practically inhaled a dozen oysters. I already love seafood, but I especially love eating seafood when I go to the beach.
By the time we were done eating, Panic! At the Disco was about to start playing. Calvin Harris was supposed to be there, but he got in a car accident and had to cancel. Luckily, he only suffered some minor injuries. Panic! took their spot. The crowd for Panic! was insane! The four of us were in the back, and made our way toward the middle. We left about halfway through the show, but I got to hear “Miss Jackson” like I was hoping to and they also did a cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that was pretty sweet.
After hitting the merch table and walking Alyssa to her shuttle bus, Naomi, Derek and I waited for Todd and Derek to get out of Panic!. They ended up being front row and became pretty big Panic! fans. Our struggle of the night was finding a ride. There weren’t any Ubers running. All of the taxis had long waits. We started walking and stopped into a restaurant called Hog Wild to get some food. Naomi, being the miracle worker that she is, got a taxi driver on the phone, and she picked us up just as our to-go orders were coming out. Side note: I got smoked wings, and they were delicious, but not as good as the incredible potato salad that I got with it. I’m going to have dreams about that potato salad.
Sunday, May 22
I woke up on Sunday to Todd telling me that Lambert’s is five minutes away, and they open at 10:30 am, so had to get up get and get ready. The last time I went to Lambert’s one of my friends was serenaded by our server. Even though that didn’t happen this time, it was still a pretty memorable experience, not in small part to this guy:
After filling up on rolls, fried okra, potatoes in every form and way too many other foods to name, we took our bloated selves to the beach. The water felt so great after being in the blazing hot sun for several days. We chose a spot that was near the festival, and I got to hear Coleman Hell perform “2 Heads,” which is the only song I know by them. Before I knew it was them playing, I was commenting on how I was diggin’ their sound. It was a pleasant surprise to figure out it was them, so I guess I need to start listening to them more often. Run the Jewels started playing their set on a different stage after Coleman Hell was finished. I had never heard of them before, but I was enjoying listening to them while playing on the beach.
Fetty Wap was the first artist on our radar for Sunday. He wasn’t playing until 4 pm, so we headed in about half an hour beforehand. Fetty was nothing short of amazing. The crowd was so much fun, and he just killed his set. All of us were going crazy the whole time, and the entire crowd went nuts when he played “Trap Queen.” My only disappointment is that Lil Dicky didn’t come on stage and sing “Save Dat Money” with him. Lil Dicky performed on Thursday, so I was crossing my fingers that it would happen. Too bad.
In some miracle, my friend, Jordan, found me toward the end of Fetty’s set. I was so happy because we had run into each other on Saturday before 3LAU and took a picture, but I took it on Snapchat and accidentally erased it, so I’m glad we got another one. Jordan was one of my good friends from college, and he moved to Colorado after we graduated. I’ve only seen him a couple times sense. When we found out that the other was going to Hangout Fest, we made it our mission to find each other. I don’t know how we managed to do it with that amount of people, but I’m glad I got to see his face.
Our food had digested enough for us to be hungry again, so we walked over to Mikee’s Seafood to get some grub. I got some more oysters because I love them so much, and they’re so fresh by the ocean. I also got a side of fried corn fritters because they just sounded so good. Neither of these disappointed.
Kevin, Derek and I went to catch Flume’s set while Naomi and Todd rested up a bit in a little grassy area. Flume was nothing short of fantastic. They remixed a couple of popular songs, played some of their original mixes and also played one of my favorites by them, “Drop the Game” with Chet Faker. I loved being in the middle of the crowd for their set because the energy was electric. Everyone was feelin’ them.
After Flume, we found Naomi and Todd in the crowd for Ellie Goulding. I really wanted to see her perform “On My Mind” and “Love Me Like You Do,” but we left halfway through her set to start the drive home. Luckily, we caught “Outside,” which would have been extra awesome if Calvin Harris was there, but Ellie definitely killed it, of course.
I took a nap on the way to Jackson to drop Derek off at his car, and then I drove the rest of the way home from 1:30-4:30ish am because Naomi and Todd both had to work super early Monday morning. The weekend took so much out of me, and I slept in until about 12:30 pm on Monday. I have no regrets.
See my Hangout weekend in action in my latest vlog!