It started with a snapchat.
And a paint brush.
And an impulse decision to buy a ticket to Hangout Music Festival**.
A combination of money made from painting banners (@madbrocreates on insta for those of you wondering), a snapchat to Jut, and my tendency to make impulsive decisions -which, honestly, is the foundation of all the content I write about-lead me to speeding down the highway towards Gulf Shores, AL. Although I swore to never return there after spring break freshman year, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see artists I have been dying to see. And the fact that two of the main stages are directly on the beach… I mean how many people can say they’ve seen Major Lazer with their toes in the sand! I was going to Hangout Fest 2017 NO MATTER WHAT.
Due to our spontaneous decision to go, we missed the opportunity to rent a condo like the majority of people who attend from out of state. Instead, we were able to camp at Southport Campgrounds with two chickens and a pig Jut and Jerry named Jeffery? Johnny? I honestly don’t remember. After three Walmart trips in one day, the help of an Eagle Scout, and an electronic air pump, we were able to set up camp. Y’all would be laughing your a**es off if you saw this campsite we were at. Picture a hobo camp under a bridge that goes over the bay. Got that image in your head? Great, now you know what our campsite looked like.
Despite the monsoon, the unfortunate death of my sketch book due to water damage, and having to sleep on slightly (alrighty completely) damp air mattresses, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. The people we met there were….interesting…to say the least, but we did end up making friends with a couple from Indiana the first night around a bonfire. It was their first time at Hangout too, so we all stuck together. After waiting in line at will call for about an hour (believe me you do not want to know all the trouble I went through to get this dang ticket) I was covered in glitter, hot, and ready to see Elefante at 11 AM in the Boom Boom Tent. Yes it’s called the Boom Boom Tent. Yes its where I stood all day on Sunday to see Matoma, NGHTMRE, and Marshmello FRONT FREAKIN ROW. Yes that’s me in his insta pic, NBD (notice Jut’s wisdom teeth shirt-lol).
pic from @marshmellomusic
There’s something about just being in a crowd of people all hype about the next artist coming on the stage. You can practically feel the energy, the excitement, the electricity coursing through the crowd as the artists take the stage and scream into the mikes “HANGOUT, WHAT IS UP!!!! HOW WE FEELIN TONIGHT” **Cue screaming fan girls** There’s every type of person, every type of outfit, and conveniently, pretty much every type of food. Guys wearing glitter and neon fanny packs-and are straight?? Check. chicken shwarma on a stick sold in the same tent as a Philly cheese steak? Check. Ferris wheel, Malibu Cocktail Tent with a DJ spinning 24/7, craft beer tent, surf shops, art installations, need I go on?? The layout of the stages, the lineup, us laughing at Jut because he forgot all our food have me counting down the days until Hangout 2018.
I go back and forth between the best set of the weekend. Was it Dillon Francis on Friday night, completely blowing us away and setting the bar high for the rest of the weekend? Was it NGHTMRE, with his heavier music and grungy undertones that had the crowd moving non-stop? Or was it Marshmello, closing out the festival, the artist we had waited all day in the Boom Boom Tent for, the one we had wiggled our way up to front row for? Don’t ask me to pick because I’ll change my answer every time you ask. I do think, however, my favorite part of Hangout was Friday night’s closing artist, when Jut and I met up with Quinn and were raging to the tail end of Dillon Francis’ set. Quinn had his arms around Jut and I’s shoulder’s and as we were jumping to the beat of the bass, he yelled “I NEVER THOUGHT IN HIGH SCHOOL THIS WOULD BE THE PEOPLE WHO I WOULD BE EXPERIENCING THIS WITH; THIS IS THE SHIT YOU TELL YOUR KIDS ABOUT!” At the time I laughed, but he’s right. In high school, I never would’ve hopped in a car and just gone to Gulf Shores without a plan, but here we are. It’s funny how things like that change as we get older.
Hangout wasn’t my first fest and definitely not my last. No mom, I’m not going to stop going through this “phase”-HAHAHA. I’m just kidding. But the spontaneity of the situation, the incredible memories and friends I made at the fest, and the adventure that was getting to and staying at Hangout made it unforgettable. This is the kind of adventures that I’m going to look back on and 20 years and be like damn did I actually do that. And following up with wow I was kind of a bad ass. And then be sad that I’m now 45 years old having to pay for my kids’ music festival tickets because no mom, we don’t need a chaperone, STOP ASKING!! But for now, we’ll keep doing these things to stay young, stay happy, and stay wild. Hang loose fam 🙂
**Click for video