Hangout Music Festival took place on the sandy white beaches of Gulf Shores, AL on Friday to Sunday, May 20-22nd, 2022 for the first time in nearly three years. Although the weather tried to stop the festival a few times, and succeeded with a few delays, Hangout Fest pushed through and made for an amazing weekend in Gulf Shores. With arguably one of the best festival line-ups of 2022, containing headliners such as Post Malone, Tame Impala, Halsey, Fall Out Boy, and Maren Morris, there was no way the weekend could not be perfect.
Saturday started off with an amazing set by Role Model, who fans had packed the Hangout Stage for and were giving all their energy to. Then there was Moon Taxi on Surf Stage, before heading over to the smaller BMI Mermaid Stage for Hastings. Although he just finished his first tour ever opening for later-in-the day’s The Band CAMINO (QRO photos on tour with CAMINO), he has already developed an amazing stage presence. He opened with his hit “Chapstick” before going into other hits, “Hearts Not In It” and “Not Asking For A Friend”. He even played a few unreleased songs, such as “Still” and “Blame The Breaks”. Right after his set finished, he even met with a few fans who waited to talk to him. I met a group of girls who had traveled to the festival from Minnesota just to see The Band CAMINO and Hastings!
At the Boom Stage (and somehow not the Surf Stage…) was Surf Mesa’s DJ set, which got the crowd hyped and rowdy mid-day. Actually at the Surf Stage was Chelsea Cutler, who was nothing short of amazing, as she had sparkly beach balls floating throughout the crowd during her set. She is simply one of those artists that doesn’t need a massive production to put on an amazing show, she can capture the audience with just her voice.
renforshort played the BMI Mermaid Stage, but headed over for The Band CAMINO’s set. The Band CAMINO entering the Surf Stage with their hit “Know It All”, before going into their hit “Roses”, which was actually co-written by earlier-in-the-day’s Hastings. Halfway through their set, they brought out fellow Hangout Saturday performer Chelsea Cutler to sing their song “Crying Over You”, which was beyond beautiful. It was also their first time performing it live together. TBC finished out their amazing set with “1 Last Cigarette” and “Daphne Blue”. We saw The Band CAMINO and Hastings on festival grounds many times throughout the weekend, and they were dancing and having a great time every time we saw them. They definitely seemed to enjoy and make the most of Hangout Fest!
Over at the BMI Mermaid Stage was Breland, who threw out beers to the crowd and even invited two fans on stage to see which one could shotgun a beer faster. Definitely a fun set to watch! Up next on BMI was rising star beabadoobee, who put on a wonderful set with songs such as “Worth It”, “Coffee”, and “Cologne”.
Headlining Saturday at the Hangout Stage to was Halsey, who was even better than could have been imagined. The superstar entered the stage to a beautiful guitar solo as lights flashed, and she then began her smash hit “Nightmare”. She explained that she couldn’t have her whole production of flames and such due to the rain, but that did not stop her from putting on a killer show. After “Nightmare” she went into 2015 hit “Castle”, which she restarted after the crowd did not jump as much as she asked. She performed a good mix of old hits and new hits, playing songs such as “Easier Than Lying”, “1121”, and “The Lighthouse” from her recent album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, along with older hits “Hurricane”, “Colors”, and “Gasoline” from her 2016 release, Badlands.
Halfway through her set, she performed her hit “Be Kind”, which features marshmello, but she painted an entire painting on a giant canvas while singing. Definitely something most artists do not do. Before the grand, firework-filled finale featuring her smash hit “Without Me”, Halsey performed “Nightmare” again. But this time, the visuals on the screen behind her featured tons of photos and videos of signs from protests about abortion, arguing that it is a woman’s choice to choose. As the bridge of “Nightmare” hit one last time, a few facts were displayed across the screen about abortions in America, including that “There are now 16 states where 95% of counties do not have an abortion clinic,” and “Nearly one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime.” While these facts flashed across the screen, Halsey simply laid down in the center of the stage, letting the words sink in to everyone in attendance.