Hangout Music Festival

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Hangout Music Festival
Hangout Fest, 2013.jpg
Genre Rock, alternative, electronic dance music, indie, hip hop, jam bands, reggae
Location(s) 101 East Beach Boulevard
Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA
Years active 2010–present
Founded by A.J. Niland, Shaul Zislin
Official 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, Alabama.[1][2] It was founded by A.J. Niland and Shaul Zislin in 2010, and is produced by Huka Entertainment. 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 Chevrolet Stage (located on opposite ends of the beach), as well as the Boom Boom Tent and more. 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.[1][3][4]

Notable acts that have performed at Hangout Fest include Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding, Fetty Wap, The Weeknd, Queens of the Stone Age, The Avett Brothers, Foo Fighters, Paul Simon, Widespread Panic, Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, OutKast, The Killers, Paramore, The Black Keys, and Twenty One Pilots. 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 and Shaul Zislin. The duo had spent several years scouting locations for a festival, until setting on the public beaches of Gulf Shores.[5] Zislin is the proprietor of The Hangout, the festival's namesake restaurant located at the terminus of Alabama State Route 59 (opened in 2008),[6] as well as several other businesses along the beach, such as Surf Style.[7] 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.[7]

They put together the first incarnation of the festival in seven months, in hope that they would not get "beaten to the punch" of creating a unique festival experience on the beach.[5] 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.[5] "It was an absolute nightmare for everyone. [...] It was 90 miles directly south of our site. You couldn’t be any closer to the oil spill, being on land, than on our festival grounds," said Niland.[5] The festival was attended by 13,000–15,000 people per day in 2010.[8]

Despite this, the festival continued on for a second year, adding another stage and booking larger headlining acts.[5] 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.[9][10][11][12] The 2011 event was estimated to have generated approximately $30 million for the Gulf Shores area economy.[12] Advance tickets for the 2012 event, which continues to be capped at 35,000 attendees per day, sold out within one hour.[13] General admission tickets sold out on February 21, 2012, almost three months prior to the event.[14]

The 2013 festival sold out as well, but failed to meet the previous year's "rapid sellout" of general admission tickets.[15] 40,000 tickets were sold in 2014, up from the previous audience cap of 35,000.[16] In 2014, the festival first allowed access to the Gulf of Mexico, which was previously restricted to security and artists.[16][17]

Viacom holds a multi-year broadcast deal for the event, which includes coverage from outlets such as MTV, VH1, and Palladia.[17]

In 2015, Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, entered into a joint venture to produce Hangout Fest.[18]



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.[19]


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, 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, 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "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. ^ "The Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival". Discover Alabama Beaches. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Mobile Tribune reporter (February 5, 2011). "Gulf Shores, Alabama Hangout Music Festival to Include Paul Simon,Widespread Panic, The Black". Mobile Tribune. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Fil Manley (May 2, 2011). "Interview: AJ Niland On The Hangout Music Festival". The Chattanoogan. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ Ryan Dezember (January 24, 2010). "In Gulf Shores, Plan B looks like a winner for Hangout developer". Press-Register. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b David Ferrara (May 1, 2011). "Hangout Festival: Organizer Shaul Zislin aims to make music fest 'world-renowned' (Q&A)". Press-Register. Retrieved July 20, 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "press" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  8. ^ Mark Hughes Cobb (May 18, 2012). "Hangout Music Fest brings thousands to Gulf Coast". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ Libby Amos (May 13, 2011). "Gulf Shores preps for music festival". Fox 10 (WALA-TV). Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Hilary Cadigan (July 19, 2011). "Hangout Fest: Perfection on the Beach". Lumino Magazine. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Matt Cuthbert (February 10, 2012). "Hangout Music Festival advance tickets sell out in first hour; regular-priced tickets remain". Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ Dennis Pillion (February 21, 2012). "Hangout Music Fest general admission sells out, some VIP tickets remain". Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ Lawrence Specker (May 14, 2013). "Hangout Music Fest founder Zislin: 2013 edition will be full of surprises". Press-Register. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Lawrence Specker (May 9, 2014). "Hangout Music Fest director: Expect 'very noticeable' changes at event". Press-Register. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b 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. 
  18. ^ Ben Sisario (January 12, 2015). "Coachella Organizers in Deal With Hangout Music Festival". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  19. ^ Bahareh Mirian (June 28, 2011). "Hanging out at Hangout Music Festival". College News. Boston Hannah International and College News. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]

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