Hangout Fest is a 3 day consortium and amalgamation of music, arts, hula hoops, hippies, sand, flip floppers, and bikini clad college cuties with their Beiber cutted boyfriends just out of school starting a summer of love before they have to enter the world, that descends upon Gulf Shores, AL in late May. An extravaganza of stages plopped right on the beach for all to drink and dance around. To say it like this implies that it is a can’t miss institution that draws in hundreds of thousands of music aficionados annually. In reality, it is in it’s second year, a festival conceived to stimulate the local economy after the catastrophic BP oil spill of 2010. Last year had a decent turnout and this year the festival sold out it’s 35,000 tickets. The sleepy town of Gulf Shores and it’s surrounding communities needs this event to be sure, but has not found the organization or man power needed to pull it off smoothly. Even so, it is a very promising festival that has brought in some great acts in it’s two years. This years headliners were Paul Simon, Foo Fighters, Widespread Panic, Flaming Lips, Warren Haynes Band, Primus, Galactic, the Black Keys, Motorhead and many others.
We would leave on Thursday and drive to Tallahassee to stay for the night. Friday would be an early departure for the 4 hour trek to Gulf Shores so we could beat the registration rush for our weekend campsite. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the music days and we would get up early on Monday for the 11 hour drive back to Miami. I had no ticket to the shows and no real desire to get one. I’ve been to many a festival and by far, the most entertaining thing to do is watch the parade of endless freaks that file by, some in costumes for the weekend, escaping the 9-5 and some that have checked out of life full time, living the endless carnival of festivals and jam band tours, pounding the pavement on black bottomed bare feet, dousing away bodily odors with patchouli oil and the cares of the world with acid and ecstasy. These are the people that I wanted to see and meet and shoot. I would be just fine out side of the gates. Just me and my mustache cavorting with my camera. At zero hour I also found out that my other roommate Alana and her man, Crispy would be going and sharing our campsite. It was getting better and better. And who knows….maybe there would be a Whataburger siting.
The hangout chronicles will be a multiple post story so stay tuned….