Sun, Sea, Rubber Ducks And Wiz Khalifa – Hangout Fest 2014!

May 21, 2014
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If you’re a fan of hot sandy beaches, cocktails, pretty scenery, brilliant music and a pure, unadulterated, good time, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a more suitable venue than the Hangout Music Festival.

Around 40,000 people cannot possibly be wrong and with an overwhelming number of incredible acts (see the full line-up here) performing in Gulf Shores, Alabama (too many, in fact, for one person to take in over the course of just three days) we have sought out some highlights for you.

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Before the entire festival proper kicked off, the Boom Boom Tent, Palladia Stage and the Red Bull Sound Select Stage fired up at 4pm on Thursday to absorb the early energy of revellers whilst they settled in to their surrounding hotels. Easing people slowly into one heck of massive beach party! A DJ set from Bonobo and performances from Classixx and Bombay Bicycle Club provided a festival appetiser.

Day one saw the action start at a reasonable 11:30am with The 1975 merrily pumping out several tracks from their self-titled 2013 album whilst getting through a few bottles of wine between each song – and why not? It’s a beach party!

Dawes brought out their hit track “When My Time Comes”, an irresistible sing-along track – hence why the crowds did just that. Meanwhile Ingrid Michaelson’s incredible vocals and song-writing skills reminded us why her work is so often used on TV!

Childish Gambino and Whiz Khalifa’s back-to-back sets provided the folks with their rap fix with the latter coupling some of his earlier work with songs from his latest album “Blacc Hollywood”.

The night was rounded-off with simultaneous headliners; The Black Keys and STS9, meaning if you loved both, you’d better be able to run between the two faster than Usain Bolt.

Fueled by anarchy, too many artists to take in and sublime cocktails, by day two, folks are in need of a little R and R and what better way to recover than relaxing in one of the hammocks the festival kindly puts out – with another cocktail of course. This is not Glasto. There are no tents. Buses shuttle festival goers to and from hotels filled with the necessary luxuries one requires to not have that “not washed my hair for three days” festival look.

So, as the sun started to set on Saturday night, the crowds gathered to watch The Flaming Lips cover The Beatles’ classic “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” as 30 over-sized rubber ducks were released into the crowd (as you do).

Meanwhile, not to be outdone, the band Diarrhea Planet released a shed-load of over-sized inflatable rubber donuts onto their crowd and closed their insane set with a cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” which was fitting as AndrĂ© 3000 and his mates headlined the following day.

And staying with the cover theme; Moon Taxi – who stepped up to the plate when Chance The Rapper had to cancel his Saturday night set due to illness – opened with a blistering collection of Rage Against The Machine tributes. A set so popular, the designated crowd area had to be closed off for safety precautions.

The night ended with The Killers singing out over the Gulf of Mexico while the crowd sung back to them. “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” ringing out of the mouths of thousands as the band played “All These Things That I’ve Done”. A set of songs from nearly a decade of hits plus a few covers such as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” proved why the band are a festival must-have. Literally killing it every time.

Having survived at least two days of hard partying, people returned for day three and did they save the best til last? Depends on your tastes but the last day of Hangout Fest was absolutely packed with choice for everyone.

Bastille fired-up the festivities followed by the Avett Brothers and Andrew W.K, getting everyone towing the ‘party’ line again. Jack Johnson became the equaliser of all things as he helped them all to chill the heck back down.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, in this case AndrĂ© 3000 (and Big Boi…and the rest of Outkast) with a festival-closing set full of their hits as well as mini-solos from Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

And that was that! Leaving us with only one question – who’s ready for Hangout festival 2015?!!

-Lucy Jenkins.

@LUCYJENKlNS

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