Now this is what I had hoped for in 2012…
What: Hangout Music Festival
When: May 17th-19th
Where: Gulf Shores, AL
Who: Tom Petty, Kings of Leon, Trey Anastasio Band, The Shins, Bassnectar, Kendrick Lamar, The Black Crowes, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, Steve Aoki, Passion Pit, Elle Goulding, Bloc Party, Govt Mule, Jim James, Public Enemy, moe, Porter Robinson, Galactic, Grouplove, Dirty Projectors, Best Coast, Lissie & more
Tickets: On sale on 2/15 at 11am EST starting at $209 (link)
Tell Me More: Now that is what I’m talking about Hangout. I thoroughly enjoyed year 1 and 2’s line-ups, but last year’s seemed to be lacking diversity. Not to say that last year’s edition wasn’t diverse with plenty of EDM (Skrillex, Paul Oakenfold) and jam-ready acts (DMB, String Cheese) performing, but the 2012 line-up just wasn’t as well-rounded as other festivals across the land. This year, Hangout organizers infused the 2013 line-up with a jolt of indie that even 2010 and 2011 lacked. Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, Best Coast, Twin Sister and Dirty Projectors are all acts I’d expect at Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, Coachella, etc., but certainly not Hangout. Hip-hop is even much improved with one of the best emcee’s in the land with Kendrick Lamar and the legendary Public Enemy and returnees, The Roots. Welcome surprises and hopefully, the additions will include rappers of similar talent.
Tom Petty meets the standard nostalgic headliners requirement, but should sound excellent on the beach (see Foo Fighters surprise cover of “Breakdown” 2 years ago). I don’t know if it was coincidence or a hint, but when Kings of Leon songs were played at the main stage before Dave Matthews Band, I hoped Hangout would realize how great they would sound in the sand. Either way, KoL will be an excellent headliner and organizers are going to announce the 3rd headliner soon. My guesses are Widespread Panic, Mumford and Sons or a wild card like Prince (hat tip to Carter) or Incubus.
While I am not able to attend this year, I still stand by my comment that there isn’t a better location than the beach in Gulf Shores, AL to attend a festival. Hangout fixed all of the bathroom, crowding and entry issues of the first two years and was able to get big-time sponsors like Chevy to include fun features like a waterslide and rides to the festival. If the camping of Bonnaroo and other fests isn’t your thing, there are thousands of vacation rentals with easy access to shuttles that make showers and rest easy. Plus, with an attendance cap of 35,000 people, you don’t have to fight through mammoth crowds (see Lollapallooza, Bonnaroo, etc.). Long story short, I’m jealous of anyone attending Hangout this May, but I’m looking forward to the next wave of artists to be added to the line-up. You should really go. Do it.