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