Hangout Music Festival

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Hangout Music Festival
Hangout Fest, 2013.jpg
GenreRock, alternative, electronic dance music, indie, hip hop, jam bands, reggae
Location(s)101 East Beach Boulevard
Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA
Years active2010–present
WebsiteOfficial website

The Hangout Music Festival (commonly referred to as Hangout Fest or Hangout) is an annual three-day music festival held at the public beaches of Gulf Shores directly accompanying its sister restaurant The Hangout (Restaurant).[1][2] The festival is produced by Sean O'Connell in partnership with Goldenvoice. O'Connell, who has been involved in Hangout since its inception, became director of the festival in 2013.[3][4][5] The event features many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music. The main stages are the Hangout Stage and the Surf Stage (located on opposite ends of the beach), as well as the Boom Boom Tent and more.[6] The festival generally takes place on the third weekend in May. It is the first major music festival held on the beach in the city.[7]

Notable acts that have performed at Hangout Fest include Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, OutKast, Mumford & Sons, The Weeknd, The Killers, Jack White, Dave Matthews Band, Twenty One Pilots, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, Florence and the Machine, The Black Keys, Widespread Panic, Paramore, Ellie Goulding, The Avett Brothers, Chance the Rapper, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Khalid and Cardi B. Acts such as the Trey Anastasio Band, The Flaming Lips, Moon Taxi, and Bassnectar have performed several times at the festival.


The beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama in 2007.

Hangout Music Festival was founded in November 2009 by A.J. Niland, Shaul Zislin, and Lilly Zislin, who is the creative director of the festival.[8][9] The Zislins are the proprietors of "The Hangout", the festival's namesake restaurant.[10] The festival received approval from the Gulf Shores city council in December 2009, as well as a permit for acts to perform an hour later than would normally be allowed under city noise laws.[11]

Shortly before the festival's opening, the Gulf Coast was hit by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which impacted its attendance and general public perception of the area. The festival was attended by 13,000–15,000 people per day in 2010.[12]

Attendance in 2011 had to be capped at 35,000 per day, an unprecedented number for the second year of a music festival in the region, due to safety concerns.[13][14][15][16] The 2011 event was estimated to have generated approximately $30 million for the Gulf Shores area economy.[16] Advance tickets for the 2012 event, which continues to be capped at 35,000 attendees per day, sold out within one hour.[17] General admission tickets sold out on February 21, 2012, almost three months prior to the event.[18]

The 2013 festival sold out as well, but failed to meet the previous year's "rapid sellout" of general admission tickets.[19] 40,000 tickets were sold in 2014, up from the previous audience cap of 35,000.[20] In 2014, the festival first allowed access to the Gulf of Mexico, which was previously restricted to security and artists.[20][21]

In 2015, Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, entered into a joint venture to produce Hangout Fest.[22]

Economic Impact[edit]

The city receives over $700,000 in direct tax revenue each year [23] plus a franchise fee of one percent of gross festival ticket revenue beginning with the 2017 festival, and increasing to three percent in 2019.[24] In 2014, the festival signed a 10 year agreement with the city to continue through at least 2020.[24]

A study conducted in 2013 by M. Keivan Deravi, a professor of economics at Auburn University, shows that the festival infuses over $31 million dollars into the local economy and reaches an estimated 564 million through social media, TV outlets and live-streaming video of the event.[25] The 2014 festival was projected to have a $47.5 million dollar impact [26]


The festival has been nominated multiple times for "Festival of the Year" at the concert industry's Pollstar Awards [27][28] and won the award in 2012.[29] The festival has been nominated multiple times for "Festival of the Year" at the IEBA awards.[30][31]



The inaugural Hangout Beach Festival was held on May 14–16, 2010. The headliners were Trey Anastasio Band, Zac Brown Band, and John Legend. Other notable performers included: The Roots, Ben Harper and Relentless7, The Black Crowes, Guster, Keller Williams, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Gov’t Mule, Ray Lamontagne, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Matisyahu, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, North Mississippi Allstars Duo, Pnuma Trio ALO, Papa Mali, The Whigs, Ozomatli, OK Go, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Toubab Krewe, Needtobreathe, Jeff Austin & Friends, Moon Taxi, and Girl Talk.[1]


Festival entrance in 2011.

The 2011 festival took place on May 20–22, 2011. The headliners were Foo Fighters, Paul Simon, and Widespread Panic. Other notable performers included: The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, STS9, Bassnectar, Primus, Ween, Pretty Lights, Slightly Stoopid, Umphrey's McGee, The Avett Brothers, Big Gigantic, Motörhead, Cee-Lo Green, Girl Talk, Matisyahu, Warren Haynes Band, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Drive-By Truckers, Beats Antique, Easy Star All-Stars, Amos Lee, JJ Grey & MOFRO, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Old Crow Medicine Show, Keller Williams, Galactic, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Portugal. The Man, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Xavier Rudd, Minus the Bear, Dead Confederate, Mariachi El Bronx, Civil Twilight, Rival Sons, Brandi Carlile, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Soja, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Kristy Lee, Cas Haley, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, and Truth & Salvage Co.[32]


Large crowd around the Chevrolet Stage during Hangout Music Fest 2012.

The 2012 festival took place May 18–20, 2012. The headliners were Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Dave Matthews Band. Other notable performers included: Alabama Shakes, Skrillex, The String Cheese Incident, Wilco, Paul Oakenfold, Archnemesis, The Flaming Lips, Chris Cornell, STS9, Dispatch, Gogol Bordello, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Mac Miller, Flogging Molly, Coheed and Cambria, G. Love and Special Sauce, Randy Newman, Young The Giant, Dr. Dog, Cage The Elephant, M. Ward, Yelawolf, Switchfoot, Julian Marley, Zeds Dead, Mavis Staples, Shpongle, Gary Clark Jr., Rebelution, Allan Stone, Big Freedia, Steve Winwood, The Devil Makes Three, Paper Diamond, Futurebirds, Tribal Seeds, Hey Rosetta!, Sleeper Agent, The Lumineers, and more.


Fireworks and a ferris wheel as viewed from the boardwalk at Hangout 2013.

The 2013 festival took place May 17–19, 2013. Additional performers were announced March 6, 2013. The headliners were Kings of Leon, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Stevie Wonder. Other notable performers included: Trey Anastasio Band, The Shins, Twenty One Pilots, Bassnectar, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, The Black Crowes, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, The Bright Light Social Hour, Afrojack, Big Gigantic, Ra Ra Riot, Holy Ghost!, Baauer, Steve Aoki, Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Bloc Party, Gov't Mule, Jim James, Porter Robinson, Public Enemy, Moe., Galactic, Dirty Projectors, Grouplove, Toots and the Maytals, Lissie, The Breeders, Best Coast, and more.


The 2014 festival took place May 16–18, 2014. The headliners were The Black Keys, The Killers, and OutKast. Other notable performers included: Jack Johnson, Queens of the Stone Age, Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, STS9, Wiz Khalifa, Zedd, Childish Gambino, Amos Lee, Conor Oberst, Tegan and Sara, Portugal. The Man, Fitz and the Tantrums, Capital Cities, Needtobreathe, Boys Noize, Bloody Beetroots, Ingrid Michaelson, Blackberry Smoke, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Bastille, Allen Stone, The 1975, ALO, Claude VonStroke, Los Lobos, Andrew W.K., Black Lips, Moon Taxi, Little Green Cars, and more.


The 2015 Hangout Music Festival took place May 15–17, 2015. The headliners were Foo Fighters, Jack Ü, Zac Brown Band, and Beck. Other notable performers included: Skrillex, My Morning Jacket, Foster The People, Paramore, Spoon, Umphrey's McGee, Major Lazer, TV On The Radio, Phantogram, Jenny Lewis, Dirty Heads, Ragonk, Krewella, Adventure Club, Lupe Fiasco, Damian Marley, Cold War Kids, Future Islands, Vance Joy, Galactic with Macy Gray, and more.


The 2016 Hangout Music Festival took place May 20–22, 2016. The Headliners were The Weeknd, Florence and the Machine, Panic at the Disco and Alabama Shakes . Other notable performers included Ellie Goulding, The Chainsmokers, Alessia Cara, Fetty Wap, X Ambassadors, The Neighborhood, Walk the Moon, Lenny Kravitz, HAIM, Grimes, Cage the Elephant, Run the Jewels, Foals, Lenny Kravitz, Portugal. the Man, Big Grams (Big Boi and Phantogram), Flume, Miike Snow, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Vince Staples, Jason Isbell, Fetty Wap, Silversun Pickups, Mayer Hawthorne, Atlas Genius, Raury, HEALTH, Bully, Pell, and Bass Drum of Death. ***Worth mentioning Calvin Harris was set to headline Saturday the 21st, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a car accident in Las Vegas. Panic at the Disco went on to headline in his place.[33][34]


The 2017 Hangout Music Festival took place May 19–21, 2017. The Headliners were Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, Chance the Rapper and Phoenix . Other notable performers included Major Lazer, Weezer, MGMT, Sigur Ros, Marshmello, Migos, Dillon Francis, Band of Horses, The Head and the Heart, Tory Lanez, A$AP Ferg, Young the Giant, Franz Ferdinand, Charli XCX, Lukas Graham, Mac DeMarco, Local Natives, Rüfüs Du Sol, Lil Yachty, Warpaint and Cash Cash.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Hangout Fest". Hangout Music Festival. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  2. ^ Amy Bickers. "Hangout Music Festival". Southern Living. Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "Hang out with the man behind Gulf Shores music fest". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  4. ^ "Hangout Music Fest director: Expect 'very noticeable' changes at event". Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  5. ^ "Exclusive: Hangout Fest director discusses year 6 vibe". Pensacola News Journal. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  6. ^ Sonja. "Bandit on the beach for Hangout festival". LSi Online. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  7. ^ "The Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival". Discover Alabama Beaches. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  8. ^ "A Trip To Hangout Fest 2015". Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  9. ^ "Hangout Fest: A Look Behind The Scenes With Co-Founder Lilly Zislin". Southern Living. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  10. ^ Ryan Dezember (January 24, 2010). "In Gulf Shores, Plan B looks like a winner for Hangout developer". Press-Register. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  11. ^ Ryan Dezember (December 15, 2009). "Music festival in Gulf Shores gets approval from city council". Press-Register. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  12. ^ Mark Hughes Cobb (May 18, 2012). "Hangout Music Fest brings thousands to Gulf Coast". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  13. ^ Libby Amos (May 13, 2011). "Gulf Shores preps for music festival". Fox 10 (WALA-TV). Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  14. ^ Lawrence F. Specker (May 20, 2011). "Hangout Music Festival, Day 1: Beautiful weather, beautiful venue, epic performances (photos, video)". Press-Register. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  15. ^ Hilary Cadigan (July 19, 2011). "Hangout Fest: Perfection on the Beach". Lumino Magazine. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  16. ^ a b Associated Press (June 27, 2011). "Hangout Festival brings millions of dollars to coast". Montgomery Advertiser. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  17. ^ Matt Cuthbert (February 10, 2012). "Hangout Music Festival advance tickets sell out in first hour; regular-priced tickets remain". Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  18. ^ Dennis Pillion (February 21, 2012). "Hangout Music Fest general admission sells out, some VIP tickets remain". Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  19. ^ Lawrence Specker (May 14, 2013). "Hangout Music Fest founder Zislin: 2013 edition will be full of surprises". Press-Register. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Lawrence Specker (May 9, 2014). "Hangout Music Fest director: Expect 'very noticeable' changes at event". Press-Register. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  21. ^ Marc D. Anderson (February 21, 2014). "Hangout Fest looks to add splash in 2014 with access to Gulf of Mexico". Press-Register. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  22. ^ Ben Sisario (January 12, 2015). "Coachella Organizers in Deal With Hangout Music Festival". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b
  25. ^ "Hangout Festival injects $31 million into local economy, study finds". Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  26. ^ "Stage set in Gulf Shores for vote on Hangout Fest 5-year permit renewal; surveys, talks reveal support". Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ Bahareh Mirian (June 28, 2011). "Hanging out at Hangout Music Festival". College News. Boston Hannah International and College News. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  33. ^ "Hangout Music Festival reveals 2016 lineup". Consequence of Sound. 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  34. ^ "Hangout Music Festival Lineup". Hangout Music Festival. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  35. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°14′54″N 87°41′22″W / 30.24833°N 87.68944°W / 30.24833; -87.68944