I had a great weekend. Luckily we had a condo a half mile from the fest that worked out incredibly, but I felt awful for the people waiting for the shuttles waiting for hours and screaming bloody murder because they were so upset. They definitely weren't prepared for this crowd at least transportation-wise, but then again the crowd almost tripled from last year so its hard to have all the logistics ironed out like other festivals do.
The lineup was fantastic. I enjoyed many of the shows, and Paul Simon was the perfect way to cap the festival. I realized during his set that i'm officially a hippy.
There's something about being on the beach that makes this fest so special. It felt like spring break on steroids. So many attractive people compared to Bonnaroo, which was a great plus for me. However, the cop situation was really crappy and pissed me off. I saw people getting arrested on the beach for a damn joint...it's the culture of the area I guess. Super conservative Bible Belt...what can you do. As for the size, I didn't feel like it was too crowded with the exception of a couple shows (Black Keys, anyone?). I was happy with the size...they just better not expand the festival anymore.
I will definitely return next year provided the lineup is decent. The pros far outweighed the cons.
Wow, Im not sure why there are so many negative reviews on this fest, I had absolutly amazing time. The security at the gates never ever touched me and hardly looked in my bag. Once inside, yes there were uniformed police, but i never saw them messing with people, They were always talking to each other.. I never saw anybody get arrested and i went to tons of shows there.. I saw people "having fun" in the front row at several shows right in front of security and they did Nothing. I was very suprised actually. Just play it cool and you were fine.
My only complaints are the shuttles sucked at night, waaay too crowded.. and tons of trash on the beach(i blame the frat guys)
The shows were incredible (Paul Simon was perfection), but I have to agree with everyone's complaints about the organization of the festival. The wait to get in on the first day was ridiculous (I waited an hour and 45 minutes to get in--made me miss Brandi Carlile), and the searches were really thorough. Saw several people getting arrested for things that seemed really harmless. Lots of undercovers, lots of cops/security riding through the crowds on golf carts (really the worst way to interrupt a concert) shining flashlights in everyone's faces...
I had a condo nearby and felt AWFUL for those waiting on the shuttle. A friend of mine stayed in Orange Beach and waited 2 and 1/2 hours for a shuttle friday after the Panic show. Not enough porta-potties (who puts a porta potty area on the front of a stage to the left?!? Not smart).
Also, last night after being so happy to watch Paul Simon I got stuck in a shuttle line while just trying to walk back to my condo. They wouldn't let anyone out of the line because they had everyone barricaded on either side of the street. The cops wouldn't let anyone get out of the shuttle lines just to walk to their places.
Everyone kept saying that the city wasn't prepared and it looks like they were right
I guess what I'm trying to say is Gulf Shores cops are basically the dumbest, worst people on the planet. And Paul Simon is a badass.
Watching the live stream of the FLips right now...is Wayne sick or does he usually sound that raspy? It's pretty brutal to be honest.
It was the 5th Lips show in a row. However I didn't notice anything bad with his voice. I've heard from some people that for the Atlanta show before Hangout Wayne was spot on with his singing so it doesn't seem that playing a week straight took a toll on him. It was a very odd show overall with the band opening with Do You Realize and Jelly, doing the space bubble for the encore, and dancers who had never heard of the Lips before gyrating during What Is the Light. Maybe it was the unpredictability and/or the people I was with but it was still one of the most fun Lips shows I've seen.
The festival itself was bad. I don't know why they thought they could handle that many people. 2 hours to get in, overflowing and poorly located porta-potties, only one crowded walkway. They need to adjust the layout to handle that crowd size next year.
Post by problem dog on May 23, 2011 19:55:43 GMT -5
Wow, my experience at this festival was totally different than what most of you are describing. The only time I saw cops move into the crowd was when those people were releasing lanterns during Foo Fighters. I saw a ton of people lighting up during every show I saw, but I never saw anyone get busted. People were passing both Js and non-secretive paraphernalia freely. I even saw two different groups of people crouched down on a blanket blatantly doing a powdery substance, and nobody said a thing. The only cops I really saw where at entrances and along the beach perimeter.
Obviously there were cops there if highoman got arrested, but I don't think it's fair to say it was some sort of squeaky clean police state inside. There were some families, but most of them kept to the back of the crowds. The number of kids dropped heavily after 6:00 or so, too. Maybe the average festivalgoer looked cleaner, but most people were staying in hotels or condos instead of camping. People were drinking hard, and a ton of those people were smoking, too.
I didn't take the shuttle, but it looks like that line was a nightmare. The line on the first day was terrible, too, but now that they know that's a problem it should be easy to fix next year. And the Surf Style stage was definitely too quiet and could have used a second row of speakers like they had set up for the Hangout stage. Other than that, though, I think things went smoothly. The crowds on Friday had me briefly worried it was oversold, but I think people learned how to utilize the space better by Saturday.
The music was excellent, too. Paul Simon and Foo Fighters played epic headlining sets. Drive-By Truckers, Portugal. The Man, Primus, and the Avett Bros were all great, too.
This was my second Hangout, and I think they made a huge step up from year one. There were a few growing pains this year, but those will probably be ironed out by next year. They really listened to feedback last year, and it resulted in some good changes.
I saw some idiotic punkass kids try to MAKE A BULL RUN THRU THE CHECKPOINT (*eye roll*) when their buddy got busted & also tried to run away from the cops. Cops: 3; Idiots: 0.
My only MAJOR beef was getting my aerosol sunscreen confiscated. Maybe I would've known this was contraband if I'd bought tickets & got an info package in the mail. But since my friend gave me a band, I was clueless. (No, make that "transluscently Irish-skinned" and clueless...a bad mix in direct sunlight, lemmetellya!)
I had *ZERO* problems with the shuttle. My condo was 12mi away at the end of Gulf Shores; the shuttle from Bruno's was fast and comfortable. The longest I waited was on Sunday morning (~20mins) but it was because the guy didn't expect such a large crowd to be waiting and he'd brought the shorter van. Dude had zydeco tunes cranked & it was like Mardi Gras on the bus - couldn't ask for a better experience on the Yellow line. I heard the Blue line was a clusterf...
All in all, it was great. Seriously, a festival with that killer lineup ON THE BEACH? Dave Grohl was right: Gulf Shores has a GREAT thing going on there!
WILL!!! Thanks for posting the MMJ footage! I missed some of that show...you rock, my friend!
Post by macmusicjunkie on May 24, 2011 1:44:22 GMT -5
I had equal positive & negatives:
Music: I didn't see a single bad show. The lineup was top notch this year. Foo Fighters , Xavier Rudd, Beats Antique, Matisyahu, Drive-By Truckers, Minus The Bear, Portugal.The Man, Paul Simon, STS9, My Morning Jacket, and a few others I saw all killed (I'm sure some others did too, but you can't see everyone).
Xtra Attractions: They had a Ferris Wheel, Death Drop Ride, Playstation Trailer, Sky Bar, Fireworks after the headliners, Shaka Island and more. Shaka Island was a stage area (like a Bonnaroo cafe stage) which has a kids area that includes a sand hill, a pretty cool art area, a bungie jump, and yes, a foam pit. It also has neat bench seating and a tattoo shop for the adults.
The Beach: It was nice to have a fest on the beach, even if you did have to leave the fest to go to the water.
The Look Of The Fest: It was decorated very well. I especially liked the jellyfish lights at the entrance, the Hangout shirts, and the sleek look of Shaka Island.
VIP: Even though I didn't do the VIP, I could tell it was actually worth the price. You get great viewing, a pool area, special entrance, and bunch of other stuff.
Shuttles: The shuttles really were as bad as everyone has been saying. It was such a cluster F the 1st night, we decided to walk the 3 miles to our campsite. On the 2nd night, the old bus driver missed our stop and then left us for 20 min. to get coffee. Then he dropped us off a mile from the actual stop. This was a hour and a half I could have been recovering in my campsite. One couple we talked to said their driver went into Hooters and had a couple of shots before he came back to the bus and rammed a curve. It was beyond ridiculous.
THE CROWD: There were more than 35k in that place. A ton of people were taking their wrist bands off and taking it out to their friends. All of a sudden, I'm not complaining about Bonnaroo's scanner bands. I was planning on seeing Bassnectar, Girl Talk, The Flaming Lips, and The Black Keys, but I ended up going to a different show because it was crazy how overcrowded those shows were.
The STAGES: I don't think anyone mentioned this, but the Boom Boom Tent and the Surf Style Stage had some flaws. The Boom Boom Tent was just like a Bonnaroo tent, but the edges were walled in by chain link fences. The crowd couldn't spider out like a Bonnaroo tent which created a mess for many shows. The Surf Style Stage had a VIP area that was huge. So huge that it jutted out into the general admission area. There were never many people in it either. This also caused overcrowding issues.
The LATENIGHT: I thought paying for the latenight was because they had to move the party to a new venue because of late night noise issues. Nope, instead it was in the Boom Boom Tent and they just wanted to make more $. Screw That. I'll stick with the fest that plans a latenight that's included with the ticket price.
COPS: They sucked. It just made me so mad to see them arrest a kid sitting on his towel minding his own business and smoking a joint. They were everywhere.
OTHER SMALL ISSUES: This included lack of water stations, lack of shade, and lots of sharp objects in sand that weren't trash from litering A Holes (I cut my foot a broken piece of wood).
I did have a lot of fun and saw some amazing shows, but that fest drained my energy more than any other fest I've ever been to.
Post by Sgt. Blotter on May 24, 2011 8:35:18 GMT -5
If this fest was shitty for you, you weren't doing it right! I had a corner balcony condo at the first building behind the mainstage......we had huge parties during many mainstage shows....craziest concert experiences I've ever had.
The law definitely got a little crazy, but that should be expected down here in bama. All the bands knew it was a special fest and played fantastic all weekend.
Saturday was a psychedelic rapture.......craziest most faced party I've ever been to
3/28- Sam Holt & Friends
4/04- of Montreal
4/22- Peter Hook & The Light
5/8-5/10- Austin Psych Fest
7/3/-5- The Grateful Dead Fare thee Well
This was my first Hangout Festival. As some background, I've been to 5 Bonnaroos, but no other major music festivals. Getting to the condo and then the shuttle to the festival was fine. The line to get your wristband was OK when I compared it to the traffic backup going into Bonnaroo. Inside the festival was very crowded, but I got used to it pretty quickly. We left after MMJ and went into the absolute CF that was the Blue Line return trip. There was no manageable line or seemingly anyone managing the situation. We eventually commandeered a bus in the middle of the street and made our way back to the condo.
Saturday we figured out to take the Green line into the festival and that went great. No lines at all for that line going there or coming back. Would recommend driving around to that line if it's run the same way next year. (Luckily, we had a DD every night.) Sunday, we did the same thing without issues. I had lots of logistical issues Friday, but the rest of the weekend were just typical festival annoyances like crowds, drunks, sound issues, and lines.
The bands were great all weekend. MMJ, Foo Fighters (x2), and Paul Simon were my favorite acts. Also enjoyed Motorhead, Umphrey's McGee, and Girl Talk. I would attend the festival again, if the lineup is really good. It was great to get a shower and a real good night's sleep everyday.
And half of you are whining about people getting arrested for doing something illegal. Get over yourselves.
Post by sangvincent on May 24, 2011 10:44:24 GMT -5
wow. now i know how you guys feel when me or other people biznatch about things about bonnaroo while you all have the time of your lives. now the tables seem to have turned. we had a near perfect weekend. this fest is awesome. sure there were tons of people, but it wasn't near as bad as roo. we had no problems with any of these things, no long lines, no crazy searches (they did make us dump 5 unopened water bottles once), but other than that no major issues at all. sounds like if you get a condo close to the fest and don't have to have NO NO WORD!!! to have fun at a festival this is the festival for you. but even if you do drugs it is definitely possible to still have a great time, i saw tons of people doing it. i feel bad for all of you that couldn't enjoy it or don't want to go back. we had a great time and will definitely be going back.
wow. now i know how you guys feel when me or other people biznatch about things about bonnaroo while you all have the time of your lives. now the tables seem to have turned. we had a near perfect weekend. this fest is awesome. sure there were tons of people, but it wasn't near as bad as roo. we had no problems with any of these things, no long lines, no crazy searches (they did make us dump 5 unopened water bottles once), but other than that no major issues at all. sounds like if you get a condo close to the fest and don't have to have NO NO WORD!!! to have fun at a festival this is the festival for you. but even if you do NO NO WORD!!! it is definitely possible to still have a great time, i saw tons of people doing it. i feel bad for all of you that couldn't enjoy it or don't want to go back. we had a great time and will definitely be going back.
-When I Hear My Name -Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground -Blue Orchid -Passive Manipulation -Red Rain -Death Letter -My Doorbell -Hotel Yorba -Same Boy You've Always Known -Lovesick -Little Ghost -We're Going to Be Friends -The Hardest Button to Button -Black Math -The Nurse -I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself
Encore: -Ball and Biscuit -Seven Nation Army -Screwdriver
And half of you are whining about people getting arrested for doing something illegal. Get over yourselves.
There's nothing wrong with whining about unjust laws. Remember that it was once legal to beat your slaves. Legality has nothing to do with morality. That said, everyone should know the risks of recreational chemestry (seldom health risks), especially when the laws are as unreasonable as Alabama's laws. If you look at the mugshots from the weekend (bcsonline.co.baldwin.al.us/smartweb/jail.aspx), you can see the type of person that usually gets busted. Exceptions abound, but most people who were careful and observant (roll 'em up and don't light 'em until others around you have been doing it for a bit) had a good time.
I definitely would not return to the festival if my condo wasn't within walking distance. That shuttle line was a trip.
Chalk me up to the time of your life group. We had a very close condo, so we were super lucky not to have to wait in the bus line. We also got there early on thursday and the condo was doing the wristbands, so no wait there either. Would definitely recommend getting condos as close as possible.
As for the festie, I about had a panic attach when I read some of the experiences. Never got touched when going into the venue and I never saw 1 person get arrested the entire time. I saw cops, but I was never discreet with my smoking although I was using a bat. Even sparked it in the beer line. And I have to admit it was all over the place and so was a lot of other stuff for that matter.
I'll be back next year and hope they don't jack the condo prices up for it. Great time had by all in my group.