Photos by Joseph Mikos
Another perfect wild weekend on the beach – Hangout Fest did it again this year. The lineup was stacked and the weather just about perfect, even with one short rain delay to kick it off on Friday. The sun kicked those clouds out swiftly to keep the tradition of heat and sunshine for one of the most fun music festivals of the year. This weekend was wild both on and off the festival grounds. There was no escaping the sun and fun, and who would want to?
We began our mornings by the pool with some brews in hand and our Hangout Fest playlist to wake us up in anticipation of the great music and vibes we were about to experience just 10 minutes down the road. On Friday morning we were met with clouds and that rain delay, which made for a longer pregame and a very anxious group. As soon as we got the notification for gates open at 3:30, we were off to the beach shortly afterwards to get it going. The lines were long and the sun was back out, and we saw no one upset about it. We made our way in around 5 and took a stroll around to take it all in before Moon Taxi hit the stage around 6pm. The vibes were awesome and the drinks were flowing. Moon Taxi played an energetic and great set as always, drawing in a huge crowd and lifting us all up for the rest of the night.
Then it was off to The Struts who absolutely rocked it on the slightly smaller AXS stage. Lead singer, Luke Spiller, rushed out onto the stage in style. He never stopped rocking out and kept the crowd moving, making for one of the most energetic and crowd engaged sets of the festival without a doubt.
The Weeknd closed the night out – managing to be probably the best headliner of the festival, despite the fact it was only night one. The crowd seemed to have filled the entire beach. If you have attended Hangout Fest before, you know that the night doesn’t end after the headliner. For those who are looking for the best afterparty filled with more drinks, good vibes, and plenty of festival goers its into a cab to Flora-Bama about 15-20 down the road to keep the party going well in the AM hours.
Saturday began with the routine: wake up, cook a giant group breakfast, fill the cooler up, and walk down to the pool/beach to soak up the sun and get the juices flowing for another long day. We started the day off with The Griswolds on the main stage. They rocked from beginning to end with a majority of the crowd singing along and moving their feet. They closed out their set by inviting Walk The Moon out onto the stage with them, much to the delight of the whole crowd.
After their awesome set we took a walk around the beach to witness a couple’s fake marriage ceremony, and then took part in an inflatable obstacle course. To cool off we checked out the PS4 trailer and played some video games. By the time we were slightly cooled, we took a walk to see Atlas Genius. These guys had a blast on stage and those vibes radiated directly onto the crowd. To keep our energy up we headed to the Malibu tent to dance our rears off to the beats of Jack Novack.
We were able to escape the tent (a bit sweaty, and with our frozen drinks slightly melted) in time for Portugal. The Man. Portugal were amazing from start to finish and we easily could have listened for another hour if possible. We grabbed another brew and walked on over to the Mermaid stage to feel the chill sounds and pro environmental messages behind the songs of Nahko and Medicine For the People.
Since Calvin Harris was hospitalized in LA before the fest, we found ourselves closing out the night with Foals. It was my first time catching these guys live and it was wild. They had the Boom Boom Tent complete packed, along with the street behind it.
We kicked off Sunday by dancing to the beats of Jerry Folk in the Malibu Tent. This DJ was a favorite for sure, with beats and mixes that could’ve kept us moving for days. After witnessing some sweet dance moves–and a few hilarious unicorn masked dance battles–we made our way to the half moon ride and the ferris wheel to get an epic view of the entire venue.
After the beautiful views, we decided to stick with the beautiful theme and check out Haim’s set – who may have won Hangout Fest overall with the energetic stage presence, melodic and upbeat tunes, and their give-and-take with the fans. They were constantly speaking to the crowd and kept us all engaged.
After all the dancing and lip syncing to Haim, we were ready to walk over to the main stage where Lenny Kravitz was putting out amazing vibes and instrumental solos, many of which went on for minutes at a time. Lenny and his band played a bunch of newer tunes in the beginning, but still rocked out hard with some of his greatest hits from the past toward the end of his set.
Then it was time to dance again to the deep house sounds of Thomas Jack at the Mermaid stage. Just in time for the weekend’s end came Florence and the Machine who played us out right. Hangout Fest, you were nothing short of amazing. See you again next year!
Around the Festival