Zac Brown Band covers all the bases at Hangout Music Fest

17 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hangout Fest founder Shaul Zislin looking forward to unplanned ‘magical moments’ hours before this year’s festival opens.

Sitting at the epicenter of the festival he co-founded, Shaul Zislin admitted Thursday night’s Hangout Music Fest Kick-Off Party didn’t go off at 100 percent.SHORES, AL (WALA) – Tens of thousands of people are in Gulf Shores this weekend to enjoy the music, the weather and the beach and while many are enjoying Hangout Festival 2015, others in the city are getting frustrated with crowds and traffic. Nicole Schilling from Rochester, Michigan, says she’s visited Gulf Shores for vacation before and when she heard they have an entire festival on the beach she had to come with her friend. “It’s been really awesome.

And another option your high school guidance counselor never bothered to mention: Driving from music festival to music festival, caffeinating happy people. But the Detroit soul singer played it off, and when sound – if not the stage lights – came back on, he brought the crowd back into the groove with a version of the Run DMC/Aerosmith mash, “Walk This Way.” The crowd of several hundred cheered and, best of all, Hawthorne rolled with the punch, moving past the issue and on with the night. During an interview in the artist village prior to his set, the blond-haired musician said, “The most important aspect of any Mayer Hawthorne show is fun. Fun is number one for me.” And the first half of his set reflected that as Hawthorne – who counts R&B heavies Curtis Mayfield and Barry White as influences – showcased a variety of music, including his most recent evolutions mixing hip hop and soul. He says they’ll stay open an hour later as long as the crowds come in. “At night we’ll probably have you know 50 people come in at one time, along with deliveries.

Headliners like Beck, the Foo Fighters and the Zac Brown Band are the obvious draws, but Zislin said he’s more looking forward to discovering “these amazing bands that have these breakthrough sets.” The example he gave was Athens, Ala., band the Alabama Shakes who, one year after organizers comped them tickets so they could hand out demos and enjoy the Hangout artist experience, took the eastern Surf Stage and brought the sandy house down. He sees a big demand: Bearclaw isn’t the only coffee-oriented food truck, but it might be the only coffee shop brand with a fleet operating nationwide. He mentioned performers Future Islands and Vance Joy – playing the western Hangout Stage on Saturday and Sunday, respectively – as some he and other organizers have been watching on the rise. “There are definitely a number of young and up-and-coming bands that are mixed in with the established acts, and it’s going to be great,” Zislin said.” On the whole, the Thursday Night Kick-Off was also great, with nine acts sharing three stages and a range of sound.

His “secret” is as plain as the menu: A mix of hot coffee, hot chocolate, iced coffee drinks, smoothies and pastries. “I cater to everybody,” he said. “I’ve got things for hot days, I’ve got things for cold days.” “We’ve gotten really busy,” he said. “This’ll be my biggest year.” Scroggins said the Bearclaw trucks will be deployed to an average of three festivals per weekend “all the way to Thanksgiving.” He’s seen a lot of festivals, and he quickly named Bonnaroo as the wildest. Although construction could still be seen throughout the festival grounds as crews got ready for the main event masses, it didn’t seem to bother those who shelled out $40 or $50 for that taste of Hangout.

But the Hangout Fest stands out because of its setting – as appealing to him as to any Michigan snowbird – and because of its artistic decorative elements. The younger members of the crowd – most in the signature Hangout Fest uniform of bathing suits and flip-flops – danced to EDM groups like Grandtheft and Black Tiger Sex Machine in the Boom Boom tent. It can only be assumed that had The Word been booked to perform over the weekend, there would have been some impressive sonic tributes to blues giant B.B. And while it was by all accounts a successful prelude to Hangout Fest, Thursday night did have the feeling of Christmas Eve, where the vibrations of future echoes could almost be felt before the weekend even started. He said expanded shade areas will help beat the heat and, perhaps even more important, flushable toilets will make their debuts. “Now we’re six years into it,” Zislin said. “There’s always challenges to be worked through, but they’ve definitely been fantastic partners helping solve problems.”

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