Last year, Hangout Fest’s Thursday kickoff party featured acts like Iron & Wine, Bombay Bicycle Club, Girl Talk, and Bonobo. While this year’s kickoff party didn’t pack quite that much of a punch, it still gave VIPs and those willing to shell out $40 an idea of what to expect this weekend on the beaches of Gulf Shore.
Acts like Joey Bada$$, CRUISR, ASTR, The Word, Grandtheft, and Keys N Krates tore up the smaller stages as the two beach stages were blocked off until the fest officially kicks off on Friday.
Joey Bada$$ repped his Brooklyn roots and rapped his verse from the ensemble song “1train,” which features Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky, and others. It wouldn’t be the first time the surging Lamar would be referenced.
ASTR had a very passionate crowd in tow as they ripped through a short but sweet set on the Salt Life stage. The demographic for this festival is definitely skewing much younger than the one that was in Atlanta for Shaky Knees last weekend, much of it due to the DJ acts that weren’t on that bill.
Mayer Hawthorne did his Kendrick Lamar featured track “Crime,” which a lot of people were singing along to, on the Palladia stage. His set was quite high energy.
Canadian DJ Grandtheft had a big crowd in the Boom Boom Tent as the evening began. His hour-long set was just what the doctor ordered as the crowd was getting down.
The Word jammed through a fun set on the Palladia stage, with Robert Randolph working his mastery on the pedal steel guitar. As far as instrumental bands go, they are up there.
Keys N Krates closed out the evening with an intense set. Though it was a soft open for Hangout Fest as they were still building out the beach side of the festival, they had a solid turnout and gave people an idea of the lay of the land for the rest of the weekend.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Photography: Tom Dellinger
The Word (Robert Randolph)
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