Music festivals can be a test of character. Non-stop partying, camping, dehydration, sunburns and not bathing for four days is sort of the norm and generally paints the picture for most fest experiences. Hangout Fest? Not so much.
Hangout Fest is the best vacation you’ll ever go on, and it just so happens that a handful of your favorite bands and artists are there to party with you.
Because three days of live music on six stages isn’t quite enough, Hangout throws the Thursday Kickoff Party. While the whole festival grounds aren’t yet open, the Boom Boom Tent, Palladia Stage and the Red Bull Sound Select Stage crank up at 4 p.m. This gives everyone a chance to get settled into their hotels and sneak in some beach time before strapping on their wristbands and heading in to the fest.
The Kickoff Party line-up alone was stacked. Classixx, Bleachers and a DJ set from Bonobo started things off early in the evening. London’s Bombay Bicycle Club took the Red Bull Sound Select stage at 7 p.m. and filled the beach with chill indie rock to accompany the sunset.
My main interest on Thursday was getting close to the front of the Boom Boom Tent for Danny Brown, whose album Old was my favorite hip hop record of 2013. From Detroit, Michigan, Brown’s unique and eclectic form of alt. hip hop translated perfectly live. His high energy set kept the crowd pumped.
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Thursday was rounded out by Australia’s Wolfmother on the Palladia stage and one huge dance party with Girl Talk in the Boom Boom Tent.
Like any good vacation, Friday started off with a bloody mary and a walk to the beach. Music gets started at 11:30, giving everyone plenty of time to kick that hangover and jump in the ocean.
First up on my “To See” list was Atlanta-native heRobust. Is 11:30 a.m. too early for face-melting bass and dirty southern trap beats? I think we can all agree that it’s never too early for such things.
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Last year I set a precedent for hardly leaving the Boom Boom Tent and 2014 isn’t looking much different. I stuck around to catch RAC. Having been a fan of their remixes and original works for a few years, I didn’t know what to expect from a live show. A DJ set was most likely and boy was I wrong. RAC performs as a full live band only relying on backing tracks for the vocals of their remixes.
Dirtybird Records’ bossman Claude VonStroke was up next at the Boom Boom and played an upbeat set of older material mixed in with tracks from 2013’s Urban Animal.
I finally took a break from the Boom Boom Tent to head over to the Chevrolet Stage to see Wiz Khalifa. His set showcased a mix of earlier tracks along with songs from his upcoming album Blacc Hollywood.
Friday night headliners included The Black Keys on the Hangout Stage and STS9 at The Boom Boom Tent. A tough call for sure, so I attempted to catch a little of both. Running in the sand to see sets from artists with schedule conflicts is what Hangout is all about! Also, now my legs hurt.
Kurt is at Hangout Fest (and every other music fest ever) and he’s on Twitter – @theactualkurt