Headstash's THE HANGOUT 2012 Review Guide
- By Brandon Chiat and Andrew Collins
- Published on May 21, 2012
Festival Website: http://www.hangoutmusicfest.com/
Once again The Hangout Music and Arts Festival enjoyed three days of gorgeous weather. Springtime in the Gulf features comfortable temperatures, cool breezes and sunsets worthy of masterpiece canvases. In fact, the sunset during String Cheese’s set was nothing short of an idyllic moment.
“Wizard Burial Ground.” Umphrey’s McGee unleashed this massive, metal-inspired rarity on the appreciative crowd. The sextet rarely plays this monster of a jam and guitarist Jake Cinninger absolutely shredded his part to pieces. Playing with a jackhammer pace, the band brought a Main Stage performance to the smaller, Letting Go stage.
Jason Hann “Welcomes You To Jamrock.” In the a hilarious breakdown of “Joyful Sound,” SCI’s percussionist Jason Hann grabbed the mic and did his best Damien Marley impression, spitting the hook of “Welcome to Jamrock.”
Alexander lived in the crowd. The heavy-bearded front man of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros spent the majority of his band’s hour-and-fifteen-minute set singing from the crowd.
Early to bed, early to rise. While The Hangout improved in many areas – more water spouts and bathrooms, added entry points and less antagonizing security – they regressed in one crucial aspect: late-night shows.
Last year, Big Gigantic and Pretty Lights raged into the early-morning hours, albeit for an extra ticket fee. This year, the festival ended promptly at 11:00 p.m.
Following each headliner, the crowd shuffled out of the festival and into the Gulf Shores nights, returning to their condos to make their own late-night festivities.
However, there were Hangout after-parties within close proximity to the festival grounds, as EOTO led the Friday and Saturday late-night throwdowns, for an extra $25.00 per night.
Doubling up. The festival grounds doubled in size and suffocating foot-traffic was no more. Expanding out on to Gulf Shore’s Beach Highway, the festival felt expansive and welcoming.
Tamed Troopers. The presence of the infamous Alabama State Troopers was confined to the perimeter of the festival grounds. Their focus clearly shifted from patrolling the beach to ensuring the overall safety and well being of the event.
Chinese fire drill. Halfway through String Cheese Incident’s second set, a Chinese lantern floated its way onto the stage trapping itself underneath the top of the stage. Minutes later, a Hangout stagehand free-climbed the scaffolding upwards of 100 feet to reach the burning decoration which was lodged in between the lighting rig.
The Hangout Festival continues to come into its own, fixing prior mistakes and maximizing prior successes. The decreased presence of the Alabama Troopers had everyone relaxed. The subsequent party that ensued truly jolted The Hangout into the ranks of the summer’s best festivals.
The true festival vibe is complemented by the unrivaled, beautiful setting. You simply cannot beat a weekend of raging on the gorgeous velvet sands of the Gulf Coast.
"I got a frog in my throat, but I don't give a fuck."– Dave Matthews.
"Man, I'm fucked up!" – Alexander of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.
"Ya'll walking around half-naked make an old man go to shit!"– Dave Matthews.
Check out our coverage of all your favorite summer festivals in our 2012 Festival Guide.
What did you think of The Hangout? Highlights, lowlights and surprises. Let us know in the comments below.