What to Expect at Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores

May 26, 2017

After we left Baton Rouge, we drove Maeve straight to Gulf Shores, Alabama for Hangout Fest. Last year I recapped Austin City Limits (and swore off music festivals to all of my friends). However, I couldn’t resist the beach or my favorite band of all time, Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness.

Where to stay

There are a ton of hotels and condos in Gulf Shores that are near the festival.  If you can book a spot at one of them, then you are lucky.

We decided to make it a camping trip and stayed at Gulf State Park.  There wasn’t much to do in this park, which was fine because we weren’t there long.  My biggest issue with the park is the fact that we were constantly attacked by yellow flies at our campsite.  If you have never been bitten by one, consider yourself lucky because they hurt like no other. There has to be a way to spray to get rid of these things. Honestly, it made being outside at our campsite and the whole camping idea a bit miserable.

How to get there

There are several transportation options to getting to the festival from your hotel/condo/campsite. The free option is to walk. We did this the first night and walked over 3 miles back to our campsite because we couldn’t get taxi back. If your hotel or condo are nearby, this may be the quickest and best option for you.

You can purchase a shuttle pass ahead of time and ride from the festival to the park and more hotels. Unfortunately, Colton and I did not get them in time and they sold out.  Pro tip: Buy your shuttle passes when you buy your tickets.

Another option for getting around is to rent a bike.  This is what Colton and I did. We rode from the park to the festival and back. It was great exercise for sure!

Lastly, you can use Lyft or a taxi service.  The only negative about this is it’s extremely difficult to catch one at the end of the night and Lyft upped the charges by 400%.

Hangout Fest

Hangout Fest is three days of music played on eight stages. The two largest of the eight stages are in the sand, and the rest are located on the street.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

The festival goes on, rain or shine. However if the weather gets too bad, they will evacuate.  We were evacuated from Sigur Ros during the Twenty One Pilots show. Although it rained on and off all weekend, it didn’t effect the schedule much at all.

Bob Moses

Bring sunscreen, a towel, sunglasses, and get a locker to keep your belongings in.

What to wear

For the majority of the time, most people stay in the swimsuits.  Bodysuits, cut offs, tank tops, bralettes and tees are also popular.

I also love my bodysuit from Sun Lovin’ Roots. It was perfect!

Wear shoes that area easy to kick on and off when you are walking through the sand.

What to eat

They bring in a variety of food vendors to cover a variety of appetites and diets. Expect to pay $13 for a taco, though.  After scouring the food trucks and booths, the best deal I found was Spicy Pie pizza at $7 a slice.  Drinks are also quite expensive, so we snuck away for a couple of hours to the Pink Pony Pub next door to the entrance of the festival.

What to do

There are plenty of things to do at Hangout besides listen to shows.

You can:

Ride the ferris wheel

Play water games at Club Hangout like slip and slide kickball

Snap a photo at one of the photo booths

Get married at the wedding chapel

Lounge at hammock beach

Play beach volleyball

Compete in the inflatable obstacle course

Visit one of the beaches

and much, much more

Hangout spoiled me for festivals.  My favorite bands played, and I got to have my feet in the sand for the majority of it.

PIN for later

Have you been to Hangout Fest?  Leave me a comment below!

  • Julie May 26, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I just love music festivals…and one on the beach sounds even more fun! Looks like you had a great time minus the yellow flies.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Right?! The beach makes it ten times more fun!

  • Emily May 26, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Music festivals are so fun. It looks like you had an amazing time! Have a great weekend.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      This one was a blast!

  • Logan May 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I love Hangout fest! I went a few years ago when Jimmy Buffet was there and it was so incredibly fun! One of my favorite experiences!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Such a cool experiences indeed!

  • Shannon Morscheck May 26, 2017 at 9:01 am

    What a fun place to go! Memories made!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 8:35 pm


  • Beth Kondrick May 26, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Oh how fun! I love a good music festival! Looks like it was a great time!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      It was a blast!

  • shan May 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Looks like fun. It would have to be a great one for me to do another concert too! 😀

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      It was a blast!

  • Brittany Wise May 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

    We used to live near Gulf Shores for several years. It was always fun having everyone in town for the festival– the only downside was going to work when you knew everyone else in town was having a great time on the beach 🙂

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      Yes! That would be such a bummer.

  • Valerie Hansen May 26, 2017 at 11:32 am

    This festival sounsd super fun and you look so cute in your oufit!


    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Awh. Thank you! We had a great time.

  • Kristine May 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    How fun!! I have always wanted to go to Hangout Fest and I’ve heard great things about Gulf Shores. Maybe next year!!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      It’s so fun! You should definitely try to go next year.

  • Cara May 26, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Looks like a great time! I haven’t been to a music festival in a long time.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      It was a ton of fun!

  • ShootingStarsMag May 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Ooh sorry the camping part wasn’t too fun, but the actual festival seems awesome. I have a three-day festival in Cincinnati called Bunbury, but this is the first year I’m not going. It’s fun, but yours sounds like there is a bit more to do besides listen to music.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      There was so much to do! We won’t be camping again next year, but I loved the festival.

  • Diana Lucia May 26, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Wow this looks like so much fun! I love music festivals! 🙂

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      It was a blast!

  • Charlotte May 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Oh, how fun!!! I haven’t been to a music festival in years (not sure I ever mentioned it, but I used to follow Phish back in the day and must have seen them 80+ times over the years). Sadly, I don’t go to nearly as many shows nowadays but they are always fun… festies are the besties 🙂

    LOVE your tank and that there is a wedding chapel there, lol, how random! PS: that pic of you two is adorable!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      So fun!! Yeah, they are not always my thing but this one is. Thank you so much. The wedding chapel is super random but it was funny to watch as I passed by. THANK YOU.

  • Akaleistar May 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    That looks fun! Love your tips 🙂

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Penny Struebig May 28, 2017 at 9:12 am

    We love Gulf Shores but have never been to this music festival. Sounds like so much fun! We’ll have to visit while it’s happening one of these years!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      It was so fun! Worth checking out if you enjoy music.

  • Brittany May 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    This looks and sounds like a blast!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      It really was!

  • Rebecca Hicks May 29, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Looks like you had so much fun. You always go on the best adventures, Jessica!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Awh thanks! We have a good time.

  • hal May 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Looks like an amazing time – I’ve never actually been to Gulf Shores but I love music festivals!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      You should go! It’s so fun!

  • Michelle May 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Never heard of Gulf Shores music festival but being from the west coast, it’s not a surprise. It looks like an incredibly fun time!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      It’s super fun!

  • shan May 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Met my (now) hubby at a music festival. lol

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      That’s awesome!

  • Allison - Celebrating Sweets May 30, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    This looks so fun! Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Of course! 🙂

  • Mish | tiffindrama May 30, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    3 days of music on 8 stages? wow, this sounds like so muh fun! i feel like we never had any of these music festivals when i was younger!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Yes! It was a LOT of music, but so fun.

  • Mama Munchkin May 31, 2017 at 10:57 am

    We almost visited the Gulf Shores this year but opted for the Southern Beaches. But, we do plan to visit soon so your tips were very helpful. I wish I had visited more festivals before we had kids. Looks like such a fun time.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Awh, thanks dear! 🙂

  • Quinn Caudill June 1, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Looks like you had a great time. I hate those yellow flies. We stay in Destin often and they usually srpay for them. You might want to review this (and swore of music festivals to all of my friends) I think you meant “off” not of.. Sorry, I hope someone reading my posts would do the same because my grammar is horrible.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      They suck so bad! We were in Destin many years ago and I don’t remember them. Maybe a different time of year? Thank you for the correction. It doesn’t bother me at all.