Hangout Music Festival Announces 2014 Lineup

The Hangout Music Festival released its much-anticipated 2014 lineup on January 14, and the festival buzz has officially begun! Here’s the scoop on will be performing at the festival on May 16- 19. And for those of you who’ve never attended the music festival before, we’ve also included some logistical tips to help make your festival experience a breeze.

Festival Lineup

The Hangout Music Festival is known for landing big name headliners and up and coming bands year-end and year-out. They did not disappoint for 2014. This year’s headliners will be: The Black Keys, The Killers,Outkast, and Jack Johnson. Backing them up will be more than 50 bands including: Queens of the Stone Age,Wiz Khalifa, Modest Mouse and Amos Lee. You can find the complete festival lineup on the Hangout Music Festival site.

Festival Shuttles

Unless you’re lucky enough to land a room within walking distance to the festival, shuttles are by far the best way to get to and from the festival. For $50 per person, you get a three-day shuttle pass. Shuttle stops are scattered all over Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, so there are many options to find a stop that is convenient for you. Some Gulf Shores and Orange Beach condos even offer shuttle service directly from their properties. The shuttles run continuously beginning an hour before the gates open and ending an hour after the gates close. So no matter when you decide to come and go,shuttle transportation is convenient.

Festival Passes

Early bird sales have ended, but ticket sales resume on Jan. 16. Three-day general admission passes start at $229. If you really want to enjoy the festival in style, there are VIP and Super VIP ticket options available for up to $1,500 per pass. Super VIP passes will get you access to a Thursday night kickoff party, a private air-conditioned dining area and lounge that serves restaurant quality meals and snacks, access to festival pools and hot tubs (filled with refreshing cool water to combat the May heat), and more.

Festival Tips

As repeat festival attendees will tell you, you’ll want to pack some essential items such as sunscreen, a beach towel, snacks and aspirin. It’s also a good idea to wear light clothing. Something that will help block the sun but also allow some airflow is ideal. The festival provides food and drink options onsite, but you can also bring snacks from home so you don’t have to leave a performance to grab a quick bite.

If you want a front row seat, your odds are better during the daytime shows when the crowds are lighter. Seating and standing room for the headliners fills up quickly, so you’ll want to get to the main stage at least an hour before the performance starts to grab a good spot.

The most important thing is to have fun and hang loose. That is what the Hangout Music Festival is all about after all. Leave us a comment and let us know who you’re most excited to see in 2014.


Ring in the New Year on the Gulf Coast

For those of you looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve, we’ve got good news for you. Your bigger problem may be trying to decide which of the many celebrations being planned for the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area to attend.

Whether you are looking for a romantic night of dining and dancing or a family-friendly celebration, there are options for everyone.

New Year’s Eve Beach Bash

Gulf Shores will ring in 2014 with the New Year’s Eve Beach Bash at the Gulf State Park Pavilion. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. and festivities on the beach include a large bonfire, campfires with s’mores and live music under the pavilion. The evening will be highlighted by a spectacular fireworks display from the Gulf State Park Pier at 10 p.m. followed by a second fireworks show at midnight.

The Wharf’s Annual New Year’s Eve Street Party

Countdown to midnight with The Wharf’s very own Marlin Drop and fireworks at midnight. But prior to the countdown, the Wharf will be bustling with free family-friendly festivities including live bands, bounce houses, face painting and the KSJ Kids’ Karaoke stage. Admission is free, and a VIP experience is available for $75.

LuLu’s Annual Noon Year’s Eve Party

Count down to noon, at Lulu’s family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration complete with kid friendly fireworks and a beach ball drop. Other activities include a sandcastle building contest, arts & crafts, live music, zoo animals and face painting. Admission is free.

Early Bird New Year’s Eve Bash

Brent Burns will provide entertainment at the annual Christian Service Center’s Early Bird New Year’s Eve Bash at the Erie Meyer Civic from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.  The party theme is “Bring Your Own Everything” which includes beverages (alcohol allowed), food and table decorations. A panel of judges will determine who wins for table decorations in the following categories: Most Original, Most Outrageous and Most Elegant. Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Dining and Dancing 

Several area restaurants and bars are offering special New Year’s Eve deals. Here are some of the more interesting offerings we found.

Fishers Four-Course Dinner
Fisher’s is ringing in the New Year with Willie Sugarcapps. For $195 per person, you get cocktails, a four course dinner with wine pairings, party favors, champagne, and breakfast after midnight. Cocktails at 7:15 p.m. Dinner at 8 p.m. Reservations are required and seating is limited.

Beach Club Fireworks and DinnerCoast Restaurant at the Beach Club is offering a $50 per person pre-fixe menu that includes one glass of champagne and fireworks at midnight. Dinner will be served from 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m., and reservations are required.

Flora-Bama Yacht Club
For $75 per person, you can enjoy an eight-course meal with wine pairings at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. Take your choice of dinner seatings at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Or for $100 per person, you can dine at the Yacht Club then head across the street and join the New Year’s Eve party at the Flora-Bama. 
As usual, the Flora-Bama knows how to celebrate. The admission price includes live music on all three stages, free food, party favors and champagne.
General admission tickets in advance are $40 and $45 the day of the event for adults ages 18 and up. VIP Tickets are available for $100. Those ages 18 to 20 will be charged a $10 cover at the door in addition to each ticket price.
Live Bait Buffet and Party
Live Bait’s New Years Eve Bash includes a dinner buffet, party favors, noise makers, a champagne toast at midnight, and live entertainment by Moiiles. The dinner buffet and party is $75 per couple or $40 single. If you only want to come for the party, there’s a $10 cover beginning at 10 p.m.
Hangout Masque Rave
The Hangout celebrates with a Masque Rave New Year’s Eve Party, which includes free masks, red carpet, photo booth, free midnight buffet and a champagne toast. Special musical guests for the party are Kristy Lee and DJ Tony Skratchere. The party begins at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $25. A limited number of  VIP tickets will be sold for $50.

Blue Angels are Back!

No matter how many times you’ve heard that sound before, you can’t help but look up when you hear the thunderous roar of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) flying over. So, residents and tourist along the Gulf Coast were elated to hear that after six months of being grounded due to government budget cuts, the Blues are back!

Home in Pensacola

The Blue Angels are stationed at NAS Pensacola, FL, so they spend a lot of time flying up and down the Alabama Gulf Coast. You can hear them coming from miles away. It’s not uncommon for residents and vacationers to get a glimpse of the fighter jets soaring overhead in diamond formation at speeds up to 700 mph.

About 11 million people watch the Blue Angels perform during a typical season. The Angels performed their first air show in 1946 after Adm. Chester Mimitz wanted a show to keep the public interested in naval aviation. This makes them the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world.

So, something seemed to be missing in the sky over the Gulf Coast for most of 2013 without the Blue Angels practicing their barrel rolls and formation loops. Although the Angels didn’t soar for six months, their time on the ground was put to good use doing community service projects such as helping build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Shows scheduled in 2014

The good news is that the Blue Angels are scheduled to fly in 65 shows at 34 locations across the country in 2014. The Blues will put on shows for their hometown Gulf Coast audience on July 12 and Nov. 7 and 8. Many people plan their family vacations around these airshows, and local families load up in boats or cars, pack picnics for the day and wait patiently at the beach for the show to start.

The Blue Angels will be practicing a few hours a week throughout October and November and then they will begin their winter training in Pensacola. In January, they will fly to California for two months to finish practicing and prepare for their first show on March 15 in California. The season will end on Nov. 8 with the last show in Pensacola.

Even though some fans call the Blue Angels daredevils, others say they sound like angels flying.

A Coastal Winter: Holiday Events on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Everyone knows that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are great places to take the family for a summer vacation, but not many know that there are still memories to be made along the Gulf Coast when the holiday season rolls around. If you are looking to get one more beach trip in before the calendar rolls over to 2014, check out these great annual holiday events.

Holiday Ice Skating at the Wharf

You wouldn’t expect to find ice skating at the beach, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Wharf between
Nov. 22 and Jan. 12. This annual event has become a favorite for locals and holiday beachgoers. The rink is open Monday thru Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Skate rentals are only $8 for two hours and for an additional $2 you can add a spin on the Southeast’s tallest Ferris Wheel to your holiday fun.

Gulf State Park Coastal Christmas

Load up the family and get your Christmas season started with this Coastal Christmas event at the Gulf State Pavilion in Gulf Shores. You’ll find hot chocolate and cookies, Christmas arts and crafts for children and Christmas carols all set against the beautiful backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t forget to bring your camera and snap a family picture with Santa by the fire. Admission and parking is free for this event, which is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 1.

28th Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade

This event has become a local and holiday beachgoer favorite. This year’s parade will take place on Dec. 14 when the boat parade gets underway at 5:30. The parade route starts at LuLu’s, takes the lighted boats east down the Intercostal Waterway wrapping around the tip of Bear Point and ends at Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach. Viewers won’t catch any candy at this parade, but the line of boats decorated from bow to stern is certainly a sight to see. Canal Road is a great spot to park the car and enjoy the show.

Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip

Does kicking off 2014 with a nice swim in the Gulf of Mexico sound like fun to you? That’s exactly what participants in the Flora-Bama Annual Polar Bear Dip will be doing on New Year’s Day. This event get’s started at noon and is free for viewers and participants. As an added bonus, the Flora-Bama will provide a traditional New Year’s meal with black-eyed peas, cornbread, ham and more to anyone brave enough to take the plunge.

Enjoy your holidays on the coast, and be sure to tell us about your favorite holiday activities in the comments below.

Gulf Coast Must See Annual Events

The annual beach trip is a ritual as common to many families as movie night and lunch at Grandma’s. Most people don’t need more allure than the warm waters of the Gulf and the sugar-white sand. However, the Coast is becoming known for several festivals and events that may just be worth planning your next beach trip around.

Oyster Cook-off

Enjoy live music, football on the big screen, and, of course, oysters prepared by more than 40 of the best restaurants in the region at the 6th Annual Oyster Cook-off on Saturday, Nov. 9.

The event, being held at the Hangout, is free to the public and tasting tickets are $2 each or $30 for a book of 20 tickets.

The Hangout Music Festival

The Hangout Music Festival is quickly growing to be one of the most popular events on the Coast. Nationally recognized musical acts converge on the beaches of Gulf Shores to perform for more than35,000 people on the beautiful sugar white sands of the Alabama Gulf Coast for three days each May. Headliners such as Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Mathew’s band have graced the stage on the beach to rock the Alabama Gulf Coast and the thousands that attend this annual event. The 2014 Hangout Festival is scheduled for May 16-18. Although prices have not been announced yet, expect general admission to cost around $210 for a weekend pass.

hangout music festival gulf shores

The Mullet Toss

The infamous Flora-Bama Bar, located on the Alabama/Florida border in Perdido Key, sponsors the Annual Interstate Mullet Toss. Hundreds of people wait for the opportunity to throw a mullet from inside a circle in Florida over the state line into Alabama in hopes of being crowned the new champion. The Mullet Toss is always held the last full weekend in April. There’s a small cover charge to get in the Flora-Bama, and a $15 entry fee if you want to toss a mullet yourself.

National Shrimp Festival

The National Shrimp Festival is a staple of what Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are all about. This annual four-day event, always the second weekend in October, brings more than 300,000 people together to enjoy local gulf shrimp, art and live music. Shrimp Festival is held at the Hangout, and admission is free.

Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival          

The Gulf Coast Balloon Festival, will be going into its 10th year in 2014. The event draws more than 50 hot air balloons for two days of family fun at the Foley Sports Complex. The balloon festival, which includes arts and crafts, music and a Kids Zone, is held in mid-June. Admission is free.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is a Gulf Coast tradition that is not just limited to the widely known party in New Orleans or the “Family Mardi Gras” in Mobile, but rather something that each Gulf Coast town takes and blends into something unique.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are no exceptions, with each town offering a one of a kind take on Mardi Gras with boat parades that stream right down the Intracoastal Waterway. Be sure to bring a large bag to stash your daily haul of beads and moon pies. Mardi Gras will fall the first week in March during 2014.

SEC Beachfest

The United States is a football-obsessed country, but in the South, football fans are a different breed. TheSEC Beachfest is right up every football fan’s alley with talks from legendary coaches, skill clinics by former players, and plenty of entertainment to hold a fan over ntil SEC football season kicks-off in the fall. Beachfest, held on the main public beach in Gulf Shores, is the third weekend in August and weekend passes are $25.

Since most of these annual events happen off peak season, it’s a great way to check out the Gulf Coast at a different time of year and start a new family tradition.