This was Her Modern Life’s 2nd time covering the Festival as a member of the media. Last year, I didn’t quite know what to expect and was more focused on working than actually experiencing the event. This year, the team got lots of work done and had an amazing time doing it. I wouldn’t consider myself a Hangout Fest vet, but here are some great tips if you’re heading to Gulf Shores next year!
1. WEAR FLIP FLOPS
Hangout is on the beach, literally. The main stages are built right on the sand. This is what makes this festival unique. You can go swim in the ocean while Tank and the Bangas play in the background. But this also makes Hangout very tricky. On the first day, I work sneakers because they went perfectly with my biker shorts/swimsuit combo. Huge mistake. Have you ever tried to walk on sand in tennis shoes? Ever worse, have you ever tried to get sand out of your socks? This is one instance where I wouldn’t put fashion over comfort. Flip flops are much more light weight and convenient.
2. PACK LIGHT
This year, there was a clear bag policy on the festival grounds. This didn’t really effect me because all of my equipment fit in a clear beach bag and I felt comfortable leaving my things in the media area while I wasn’t on assignment. But for everyone else, there were lockers available to rent. But this seemed to be a hassle for a lot of people. And in 95 degree heat, no one wants to be bogged down with a heavy bag.
3. TAKE CASH
This is a great tip for everyone like me who’s ballin’ on a budget. It’s so tempting to spend when you’re at a music festival. Each day before I left the hotel room, I pulled cash out to keep with me all day. This way, once I was done, I was done. It’s also a lot safer. Could yo imagine losing your debit card at the beach, with thousands of people? Tragic.
4. GET THERE EARLY
The venue opened everyday at 11 am. (Media tip: try not to schedule interviews or walk thrus right at 11) If you’re one of the first people in, you can enjoy brand activations and cool installations without the long lines. This year, the giant pool floats attracted everyone. If you didn’t get a chance to play on them before 1 pm, chances are, you could only enjoy them from a distance. Also, because of state laws, Hangout has to regulate the number of people on the beach at any given time. You can imagine how long the line for beach entrance was by 3 pm.
5. TAKE IT BY SECTIONS
There was a roller disco, morning yoga under the ferris wheel, a beach spa, a wedding chapel, puppy kissing booth, a beach and and a beach house. That’s not even mentioning the dozens of brand activations OR the actual concerts (there were more than 6 stages this year). Hangout Music Festival is literally three days of none stop fun. There’s no way you can conquer everything in one day. With some savvy scheduling, we managed to do interviews without missing our favorite artists. For everyone there to enjoy, think about the festival grounds in terms of main stages. That way, you can do as much as possible and never miss a beat!