7 Must-See Bands at Hangout Fest 2017

By Ally Mickler

May 16, 2017

In a world where it is becoming harder to differentiate popular music festivals from one another, Hangout’s founders, A.J. Niland and Shaul Zislin, knew of something that would make their festival truly unique. So, in November 2009, the idea to create the ultimate music festival beach vacation on Gulf Shores, Alabama was born.

Photo: Michelle C. Stancil courtesy of Hangout Fest

Just seven months later in 2010, Niland and Zislin opened the gates to this music paradise for the first time. It was their intent to be on the frontlines of creating an authentic festival experience on the beach, where people come together to listen to many genres of music, including, rock, indie, hip hop and electronic. Since its big break, Hangout now hosts over 40,000 festival goers and has welcomed various notable acts like Stevie Wonder, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Florence and The Machine, Fetty Wap, The Weeknd, Kings of Leon, and so much more.

Over the years Hangout has created the ultimate beach vacation with more major headliners and additional ocean front stages, where guests can jam out while resting their toes in the sand.

You know all the headliners this year, but here are 7 hot acts you might not want to miss:

SUSTO – Sunday, Fitz’s Stage at 12:30 p.m.

SUSTO is a Spanish word referring to a folk illness in Latin America meaning “when your soul is separated from your body,” which prefaces their story and first independently released self-titled album in 2014. Frontman Justin Osborne attributes the term to when the band was just getting started and everything seemed uncertain. A few years down the road, the alternative country-rock band released their new album “& I’m Fine Today” and has been touring relentlessly to spread their story gaining masses of fans at each stop opening for bands like The Lumineers, Band of Horses, and many more. Sinking your feet in the cool sand, feeling the warm sun and beach breeze while listening to “Waves” is a must this year.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise – Saturday, Fitz’s Stage at 2:30 p.m.

From the mountains of Boone, North Carolina, Rainbow Kitten Surprise started with just two college roommates writing and composing music together. A mix of bright indie pop and earnest, harmony-drive folk-rock, Rainbow Kitten Surprise has grown from a small college band to a nationwide sensation. In 2015 their hit song “Devil Like Me” was featured on Spotify’s Viral 50 chart at #16 in the U.S. and #6 in Canada. Big things are happening for these guys in 2017. Stay on the lookout.

COIN – Friday, Mermaid Stage at 5:15 p.m.

Nashville-based band COIN has created an authentic synth-spiked indie pop sound that’s more interestingly associated with L.A. and N.Y.C. They’ve come a long way since first formed at Belmont University in 2012 with their first sold-out show in the summer of 2013 followed by signing a contract with Columbia and working with producer and co-writer Jay Joyce from Cage the Elephant. COIN’s most recent success was seen with their infection single released in 2016, “Talk Too Much.”

Lewis Del Mar – Saturday, Fitz’s Stage at 5:00 p.m.

All the way from Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY, Lewis Del Mar is a duo featuring two lifelong friends, Danny Miller and Max Harwood. The duo’s artistic inspiration pulls from a variety of sounds from Latin folk groups to the infamous Beastie Boys. In June 2015 the duo’s independently released single “Loud(y),” which made the iTunes “Best Songs of 2015” list after only two weeks. The New York Times claimed it to be a “clattering profane mixed-media anthem.”

Bishop Briggs – Friday, Fitz’s Stage at 4:30 p.m.

Born in London and raised in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Bishop Briggs had no ordinary start. It was in a Tokyo Karaoke bar where Briggs sang in public for the first time and was instantly hooked. Growing up, she drew her musical influence from listening to Motown and the Beatles and has been writing songs since age seven. In 2016, Briggs released her single “River” that sparked commercial success and reached #2 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50. She’s since released her third single “The Way I Do,” opened for Coldplay, and performed on “The Tonight Show” featuring Jimmy Fallon.

Warpaint – Sunday, Mermaid Stage at 7:30 p.m.

From Los Angeles, California, the American indie rock band features founders Emily Kokal (vocals, guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals, guitar), and Jenny Lee Lindberg (vocals, bass) and Stella Mozgawa (drums). The band’s sound and style has been characterized as art rock, dream pop and psychedelic rock, often compared to Joni Mitchell. Notorious former RHCP guitarist, John Frusciante, mixed and mastered the band’s debut EP, Exquisite Corpse in 2008. More recently the band just came out with their third studio album Heads Up, which is meant to be a faster, dance-oriented record.

The Suffers – Friday, Surf Stage at 12:30 p.m.

Introducing Houston’s award-winning 10-piece ensemble that has redefined the sound of Gulf Coast Soul. The Suffers have performed at NPR’s Tiny Desk, Newport Folk Fest, Austin City Limits Music Festival and The Late Show, and have delivered over 150 stirring performances of their signature 3rd Coast Soul sound to thousands of new and old fans alike. Their sound is universal and appeals to many audiences as it draws from classical rock & roll, country, Latin and Southern hip-hop as well as Stax/Volt or Muscle Shoals influences.

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