Festival Favorites: The Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival
Our latest regular feature on Jambands.com will take a look at a diverse mix of upcoming festivals. First up is the new Hangout Music and Arts Festival, which will debut in Gulf Shores, AL this spring. Be sure to check back throughout the summer for more on this year’s festival circuit.
The Essentials: Gulf Shores, Alabama, May 14-16
The Lineup: Trey Anastasio and TAB, Zac Brown Band, John Legend, Ben Harper and Relentless7, The Black Crowes, Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Gov’t Mule, The Flaming Lips, Ray LaMontagne, Jakob Dylan & Three Legs Feat. Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Funky Meters, Blind Boys of Alabama, Matisyahu, Girl Talk, Guster, Brett Dennen, Keller Williams, Jerry Jeff Walker, North Mississippi All-stars, ALO, The Whigs, Ozomatli, OK GO, Orianthi, Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam, Pnuma Trio, Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears, Toubab Krewe, Mat Hires, A.A. Bondy, Rachel Goodrich, Moon Taxi, El Cantador, Kristy Lee, Roman Street, Jeff Austin & Friends Feat. Larry Keel, and many more! Click here for the complete lineup.
The Buzz: One of the most buzzed about new additions on the spring/summer festival circuit, The Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival will offer a modern mix of jambands, indie rockers, college favorites and roots-leaning pop acts—all steps from the water. “We have four stages this and two of them are located literally on the sand,” says festival promoter A.J. Niland. “We are the first festival of [our size] located on an actual beach.” Though Niland says swimming will not be allowed onsite during the shows, he’s not ruling it out for a future addition of the festival. Onsite camping is not an option this year, but there an assortment of lodging options surrounding the festival including traditional hotels, beach-front condos and camping at the local state park. Attendance will be limited to 35,000 people per day.
The Back Story: A.J. Niland is a co-founder of HUKA Entertainment, the festival’s promoters. Niland founded HUKA to help bring great music to the Gulf Coast and has produced an eclectic mix of shows and events throughout the region. The Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival should firmly plant the area on the festival map as well. Niland also hints that some late night entertainment options will be available in the area after the festival comes to a close each night.
Headliner Headlines: As of press time, The Hangout is Trey Anastasio’s only confirmed summer date with his current solo band, TAB. Anastasio completed a short tour with the group this winter, offering a mix of TAB originals, covers and previously un-played Phish songs (including the Party Time track “The Birdwatcher”). Niland also cites country/jam crossover Zac Brown Band and R & B star John Legend (who is currently collaborating with the Roots in the studio) as examples of mainstream groups that should appeal to a festival crowd.
Relix/Jambands.com Recommends: Former Wallflowers leader (and Bob Dylan prodigal son) Jakob Dylan will bring his new solo band, which features singer/songwriter extraordinaire Neko Case, while Larry Keel will perform with Jeff Austin & Friends. Jam/pop favorites Guster will preview material from its forthcoming studio album—one of only four shows the band currently has booked. Club darlings The Whigs, ALO and OK Go also have new music to support. And seeing Blind Boys of Alabama in Alabama seems, well, appropriate. “We started making calls last fall and it came together very quickly,” Niland says. “It is going to be a great beach party.”
Helpful Hints: Bring a beach towel and sweatshirt as temperature can dip into the low 60s. If you can’t find a flight into Mobile Alabama, fly into Pensacola, FL.
Interested? Well, Relix/jambands.com is giving away a pair of tickets to the festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama from May 14th-16th. Click here to enter.