Hangout Fest has become one of the largest music festivals in the United States, attracting tens of thousands of partygoers every day from all around the world. Last year Hangout attendance reached over 120,000 for the 3-day festival, and this year’s festival is sure to be just as large. If you are going to Hangout Fest for the first time, or thinking about it, I’m sure you have a lot of questions. How do you get tickets? Where should you stay? What exactly is Hangout? This article is meant to be a sort of Hangout Fest FAQ, answering all your broad questions about the festival. After reading this you should have a good idea about what’s going on at Hangout Fest and what you can expect.
Hangout is a three day music festival that takes place annually in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The lineup tends to feature mostly rock and EDM, although there are artists from every genre. The first festival took place in 2010 and Hangout has continued to grow since then. The festival is unique in that it takes place on a beach so festivalgoers get to experience not just great music, but also a unique setting right on the ocean in the sand. Past headliners for Hangout Music Festival have include the Foo Fighters, The Killers, Jack White, Kings of Leon, Tom Petty, The Weeknd, and more.
In years past the attendance has been capped at 35,000. Starting in 2014 they upped the capacity to 40,000. This is still smaller than many other music festivals. For example, Coachella has over 100,000 attendees each day. Hangout Fest is kept smaller due to safety concerns.
Hangout Fest generally occurs the third weekend of May. This can vary a little bit from year to year but Hangout Fest is fairly consistent with its dates. For example, the 2017 festival will be held May 19-21st. The festival always occurs Friday – Sunday like most music festivals. Hangout Fest also features a kickoff party that happens on Thursday before the official start of Hangout Fest. This is NOT included in the general admission wristbands – it is an optional add-on for festivalgoers. Typically it includes a few bands and a reasonable price tag of $50.
Typically Hangout Fest will release their lineup at the end of November to early December. For the 2017 Hangout Fest the lineup was released on November 30th. This can vary but in general Hangout Fest is fairly consistent with when it releases its lineup.
Hangout Fest tickets will go on sale shortly after the lineup is officially announced. As I mentioned before, the lineup is typically released in late November to early December. 2017 Hangout Fest tickets will go on sale on December 2nd, 2016. This date varies slightly year to year, but this is generally when tickets will go on sale.
Above you can see the prices for 2017 Hangout Music Festival tickets. General admission tickets have several tiers of pricing. When the tickets were originally released for Hangout Fest the general admission passes were $249. This is Tier 1 pricing for Hangout general admission passes. Once the allotment of tickets at this price sells out the price increases to $269, which is where tickets are priced at the time of this article. Once these tickets sell out Hangout general admission passes go to their final tier of pricing and will increase to $289.
The VIP passes are priced at $1099 and the Super VIP passes are priced at $1599. Neither of the VIP options for tickets have tiered pricing – they will not increase in price over time.
Every level ticket for Hangout Music festival also add on a $25 convenience fee for processing and shipping. This makes general admission tickets $294, VIP tickets $1,124, and Super VIP $1,624 for Hangout Music Festival.
I have written a full article on whether or not Hangout Fest VIP passes are worth it. You can read that article at here. To quickly summarize that article: if you have the money for Hangout Music Festival tickets, they are awesome and worth it. The free food and booze all weekend long really takes up a lot of the price difference, and that’s just some of the benefits. You can clearly have fun at Hangout Fest if you don’t have VIP passes, but these are some of the better VIP passes offered at any festival.
What is your advice for getting Hangout Fest tickets?
Hangout Fest, while popular, does not sell out instantaneously like other large music festivals so you don’t need to be on their website with four different devices trying to buy tickets. The festival will likely sell out but that typically won’t happen until February or March typically. This can vary year to year but it’s good general advice. If you truly are planning to go to Hangout Fest I highly suggest just booking everything early. The festival usually does sell out so don’t risk it too long.
Every year Hangout Fest is held in Gulf Shores, AL. The official address for Hangout Fest is 101 East Beach Boulevard Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA. The location is one of the most unique factors for Hangout Fest. It is located right on the beach giving patron’s access to great music and the sand all at the same time.
A good question, and one that a lot of people ask. Gulf Shores, AL does not have a huge amount of hotels. They have them, but they are limited and fill up quickly – especially if they are near Hangout Fest. For example, we have price tracking for just 26 hotels in the Gulf Shores, AL area during the dates for Hangout Fest. This is in comparison to over 200 for Lollapalooza. So if you are going to book a hotel, book it quickly.
Another popular choice for Hangout Fest is to rent a house through VRBO, Airbnb or another outlet. The nice part with this approach is you can split the cost among a lot of people. There are also a lot of houses located right on the beach. This is a really fun environment as virtually everyone renting a nearby house will also be attending Hangout Fest, so the atmosphere is festive and fun. Regardless of which option you go with Hangout Fest will be a blast, but admittedly the renting a house approach is the more popular of the two approaches.
The ultimate goal of your accommodations should be to be as close as possible to the festival. Hangout Fest does offer a shuttle service, so you can stay further away and still make it to Hangout. I still suggest paying the extra money to stay close. Anyways, the most popular areas to stay for Hangout Fest are in the immediate festival area, Orange Beach (6 miles east of Hangout), and Perdido Beach (8+ miles east, good bargain prices).
A final piece of advice is the properties near Hangout Fest, whether they be hotels or houses, sell out very far in advance. There is a limited amount of accommodations near Hangout Fest, do not expect to be able to book something at a reasonable price in February. Most people begin booking for Hangout 6+ months in advance of the festival.
Hangout Fest runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.
The picture above shows some set times from Hangout Fest 2016. In general each artist gets about an hour. This can vary a bit, sometimes they get an hour and a half but usually it’s an hour. The headliners are the only exception and typically will get two hours.
Hangout Fest usually announces the set times about a week in advance. This would mean for 2017 Hangout Fest they will release the set times around May 12th, 2017.
Hangout Fest has two main stages – the Hangout Stage and the Surf Stage. Each stage is located at either end of the beach, as you can see in the figure below. There is also the Boom Boom Tent and a few other minor stages but the majority of the action will happen at either the Hangout Stage or the Surf Stage.