5 Must See Artists at Hangout Music Fest Next Weekend
Preparations are underway in Gulf Shores, AL, as the beach town prepares to welcome tens of thousands of festival-goers to Hangout Music Fest. The multi-genre music festival will take place next weekend, May 19-21, and attracts attendees from all over the country to properly kick off the summer festival season against a backdrop of sandy shores and crashing waves. Major names in the music industry perform to provide the beats by which people can make memories with their friends and this year’s lineup brings talent from hip-hop, rock, alternative, pop, electronic, and pretty much anything else you can think of. With performances split across six stages, which span the expansive festival grounds, I’m here to make your life a little bit easier by recommending my five must-see artists for the weekend.
This is a no-brainer in my books. Skrillex has had an absolutely crazy year already, dropping albums left and right and looking like he’s just living his best life while he performs at legendary venues like Red Rocks (a 5-hour set, no less) and Madison Square Garden. He, Four Tet, and Fred Again.. are one of the most talked about acts in the past few months and the trio closed Coachella Weekend 2 with a crazy surprise set that drew a massive crowd. Skrillex’s 2011 “Bangarang” was a marked moment in the world of US dubstep and if you ask anyone who started listening to electronic music in the early 2010s, I guarantee they will know this song. While he is primarily known for electronic music, he has collaborated with artists of all genres, including Justin Bieber, FKA Twigs, Kid Cudi, Camila Cabello, and so many more, and holds the most GRAMMYs won by an electronic artist. The last time I saw him was at an absolutely bonkers set at BUKU 2019 in his duo Dogblood, with Boyz Noise, and I get so hyped every single time I hear “Rumble” and “RATATA,” so this set is absolutely at the top of my list. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for a special appearance by…I don’t even know who, but I bet there will be one!
SZA has been a well-recognized name in the contemporary R&B scene for years, but these last few months have truly shined the spotlight on her, with her voice featured in many viral TikTok audios. Performed as part of an SNL skit, “Big Boy” remains a huge sensation months later, with many fans asking for a full studio version to be released. “Kill Bill” is another viral sensation, used in many transition videos. Her long-awaited second studio album, SOS, enjoyed 10 weeks at the top of Billboard 200, joining Taylor Swift and Adele as the only women to rule the all-genre listing. SZA gave fans, both old and new, a glimpse into who she really is and we embraced her fully with open arms for speaking about her existence and true self. She was awarded the Billboard Woman of the Year Award and her acceptance speech, fittingly enough, was one of acceptance. I’m thinking her set will leave us feeling like we’re ready to take on the world.
Lil Nas X
We all remember the chokehold that “Old Town Road” had on society in 2019 and numerous other hit singles and years later, Lil Nas X remains a force to be reckoned with in the music world. A trailblazer in his own right, Lil Nas X decided to come out as gay during the height of his career, further breaking down barriers and opening more doors as many LGBTQ+ artists before him have. He challenges social norms and often causes controversy – his “MONETERO” music video is just one example – but in doing so, he forces his audiences to consider what it means to be truly accepting of “others.” Not only is he a musical king, but he is also a fashion icon, further expressing himself through his style and how he portrays himself to the world. He has collaborated with artists like Jack Harlow, Megan Thee Stallion, and even Elton John. He’s a few years into his career, but one can argue that Lil Nas X is just getting started. His performance will undoubtedly be one to write home about.
Said The Sky
If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for feel-good electronic music. As much as I love dancing around and getting hyped up, I also really love melodies that pull at my heartstrings. Said The Sky, proudly part of the Sad Boy Club, always managed to get me in my feels when I listen to his music. His debut 2018 album, Wide-Eyed, delivered emotive and melodic bass that is beautiful, soulful, and downright enjoyable. Having played various instruments throughout his childhood, Said The Sky now incorporates live instruments into his production and performances. Each song feels like a story, and the attention to detail he has for the artistry complementing each song makes a holistic experience that makes you feel like you’re in a movie scene. The last time I saw him, it was pouring down rain and pretty cold, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the weather at Hangout is more agreeable because I’m ready to cry a little during this set.
Hot girls love house music and we also love Nostalgix, the queen of the aforementioned phrase. A modern-day version of the 90s It Girl, Nostalgix is definitely on the come up with her unique bass house sounds that incorporate spunky charm and 90s style. And what makes it even better is her clothing style is the physical embodiment of her DJ and production style. She’s an all around cool girl who radiates positive and loving energy on stage, and you definitely leave the crowd feeling like a million bucks. Not only do her massive basslines get you moving and grooving, but her personality also shines through from her stage presence, and we all know it’s more enjoyable when you feel some level of connection with the artist. I’ve seen her perform at large festivals as well as intimate shows and I can say that she really brings the heat no matter how many people are in the audience. She’s definitely going to make a hot day even hotter!