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Review: Sun, Sand, and Sounds at Hangout Fest 2024

Hangout Music Festival, held on the sun-drenched beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama, has always promised more than just a lineup of eclectic music — it's a full-blown beach vacation with a soundtrack that complements the ocean waves. The 2024 iteration of the festival was no exception, providing a perfectly curated blend of big names, emerging artists, and unique beachside vibes.

This year’s lineup was a spectacular mix of genres, showcasing everything from indie rock and country to EDM and hip-hop. With some of the biggest names in music headlining the main stage and emerging breakout stars attracting massive crowds, Hangout ensured there was something for everyone.

The clear standout of Friday's lineup was undoubtedly Lana Del Rey's set, despite a near 20 minute delay. With surprise guests such as Tommy Genesis, Benson Boone, Nessa Barrett, and Jelly Roll, it was a showcase full of unexpected delights.

Chappell Roan

Saturday began mostly undeterred by a few morning storms, and the weather seemed mostly clear by the time Chappell Roan took the stage. With her signature rich, velvety vocals, Roan took the audience on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, weaving through her setlist with a commanding presence that's both enchanting and poignant.

Another standout performance was an electric set by Cage the Elephant, marked by the band's explosive energy and unpredictable stage antics. Lead vocalist Matt Shultz captivated the crowd with his intense, sometimes frenetic performance style.

Cage the Elephant

Saturday came to an end with a performance by ODEZSA, with a set that proved to be an immersive sensory journey that combined spellbinding visuals with their signature sound, a lush fusion of chillwave, electronic beats, and organic instrumentation.

Throughout the show, live drum lines and vocalists added a dynamic, organic layer to the performance, enhancing the digital artistry that ODESZA is known for. The result is a transcendent experience that connected the crowd not just to the music but to each other.

Sunday brought perfect weather and yet another incredible lineup. A definite highlight of the third day was Sexxy Redd -  with her bold, confident style, she dominated the stage, delivering razor-sharp lyrics and infectious beats that had the crowd moving. Following Redd's set was a thrilling throwback to the heydays of early 2000s hip hop, packed with nostalgia as Nelly took over the main stage.

The weekend concluded with Grammy award-winning Country artist Zach Bryan. With his gravelly voice and masterful guitar skills, Bryan commanded the stage with an authenticity that captivated the crowd from start to finish. His songs, deeply rooted in the traditions of country and folk music, resonate with themes of love, loss, and the human experience.

Zach Bryan

Artist Highlights

The Beaches

Canadian rock band The Beaches commanded the Shoreline Stage on the first day. Their sound, a fusion of punk, pop, and classic rock influences, ignited the crowd with infectious anthems that celebrate empowerment and independence. From electrifying guitar solos to pulsating drum beats, each song pulsed with a raw intensity that left the crowd exhilarated and craving more.

Their recent hit "Blame Brett" is a raucous anthem that exudes attitude and defiance. With its punchy guitar riffs and pulsating rhythm, the song is a sonic declaration of independence and empowerment. To singer Jordan Miller, the album came out of her first experience with heartbreak. While witnessing the positive reaction to the song, she says she came to a realization, "Heartbreak is a universal experience, everybody goes through it - I no longer feel like the songs are only mine, everybody can get something out of them."

The Stews

Kicking off the first day of Hangout on the main stage was The Stews, who delivered a performance that was both soul-stirring and groove-inducing. A concert by The Stews is an immersive sonic journey that transcends genres, weaving together elements of soul, funk, and R&B into an electrifying tapestry of sound. Regarding the band's tendency to explore a wide variety of genres, they say, "We come from different places musically, so when we come together to write, we have four unique sounds."

Along with their dynamic sound, the band's genuine chemistry create an electrifying atmosphere with every song, and as they continue to push boundaries and break new ground, The Stews prove themselves to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of contemporary music.

Megan Moroney, on the Shoreline Stage

New this year to the festival was a revised stage layout. The Boom on the Beach Stage (presented by Shein) moved from the street to the sand and featured a heavy rotation of electronic artists such as The Chainsmokers and Dom Dolla. The Shoreline Stage (presented by Malibu Rum) was set up directly in front of the water, allowing attendees to see a beautiful ocean view while watching the acts.

Hangout Fest 2024 proved once again why it’s a standout in the festival circuit. It successfully combined music, beach fun, and excellent amenities to create an unforgettable weekend. It remains a must-visit for those looking to kick off their summer with a blend of tunes and waves. Whether you're a seasoned festival-goer or a first-timer, Hangout Fest offers something for everyone, making every moment count.

Check out the full gallery below:

Photos by Keira Lindgren


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