You get the ticket. You get the condo. You get the friends that you want by your side.
Get on the plane. Get to the condo. Put on the glitter. Get through the line. Get to the stage as fast as you can.
Go fucking wild.
THIS IS HANGOUT FEST 2022
I’m writing this while sitting on a white sandy beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The sounds of the bass from the stage half a mile away coalesce with the waves crashing into the shore. Scantily clad ladies and backwards-hat wearing bros are scattered across the beach as far as the eye can see. Most of them still drunk or high from the night before. A young, college girl with neon make up dripped across her face is scouring the sand for a phone she most likely lost last night somewhere between T-Pain’s throwback heavy set and Post Malone vibing the crowd out on stage blanketed in fire.
No judgements girl. I am still trying to follow the breadcrumbs in my own mind that could help explain where the night went from normal festival debauchery to, ”Do you think that I would get hurt if I jumped from our 6th floor balcony into the pool?” mayhem. I know it must have been somewhere between trying to sneak backstage in hopes of “accidentally” bumping into my new rock and roll crush, Briston Maroney, and the 8 or so beer bongs I did with three guys named Austin, who adorably referred to themselves as “The Austin’s” and all had matching tattoos of the Colt 45 label on their legs (what can I say… I have a thing for guys with shitty tattoos).
Speaking of Briston Maroney, does anyone really think it’s fair that he was blessed with fantastical, golden piping in his throat that makes him sing like an angel, all while being talented enough to write such poignant lyrics, wise beyond his 24 years on this dying planet? No? Me either. Just checking.
Don’t get me wrong… The young woman in front of me on the beach, now scrapping sand off the phone she recovered, and I are not the only people still feeling the effects from last night. Hangout Fest took over this small, quiet, beach town and now everyone, including the security guards at our condo, are hung over and feeling the weight of their bad decisions.
It just goes to show you that even after a thunder storm threatened to cancel the festival, squabbles of seagulls descended on the crowds looking for food, and a gluttony of other unrelenting ‘first day’ issues with all the moving parts that is Hangout Fest, the youth of our nation can still find a way to turn any situation into a good reason to get positively blotto with strangers.
Directly after that performance ended the crowd herded themselves towards another stage on the opposite side of the beach to see Fall Out Boy perform. The broadway caliber stage production was all anyone could talk about. Prior to the band taking the stage, the crowd was hypnotized by a modern day Twilight Zone epilogue that set the scene for the entire experience. Throughout the show the backdrops behind the band changed like a fever dream, switching from a fairytale cabin to what seemed to be a zombie apocalypse. It was almost enough to take away from the fact that the early-2000s thirst-trap known as Pete Wentz could not have looked more bored to be performing that night.
Then Post Malone took over after that.
No. Fucking. Words.
That dude can command a stage! He joked with the audience while balancing an empty beer glass on his head before bellowing out all of the heartfelt breakup songs that everyone in the crowd was begging for, as well as a new track entitled “Cooped Up” which he performed live for the first time ever last night.
The only dude working harder than Post Malone himself was the sign language interpreter for his performance at the side of the stage. That interpreter left it all out on the field last night, giving his interpretation a life and swagger all its own. That dude seriously fucks.
I would tell you more but I have to get back to chilling fucking hard on this pillow-soft beach in preparation for day two of the amazing line up. I’ll have more to tell you later if can just stop myself from beer bonging a couple (hundred) more cold ones with The Austins.