This fest season I feel so incredibly fortunate to be invited by Subway to hit the road with them to attend a few of the top music festivals across the country. I shared my 10 Things to Stay Cool at Summer Fests' list right before taking off for Hangout, and I'm happy to report back that my packing list served me well. This post is a behind the scenes look from one seriously killer weekend!
I stumbled across an IG post the other day, right before taking off for the Hangout Festival - it included an excerpt from a reddit thread and said this:
Man, did that post hit me. The reality for me is I DO care about the Grand Canyon, and I care about every other place we share with you here in this space. Travel has truly set my life on fire. Since I spent that summer in Spain a few years back I never, ever, not even kind of - wanted to look back. That summer marked the moment I left my corporate job, decided to pursue my creative passion fully (with plenty of bumps along the way) and live this life with my eyes focused forward.
However, it got me thinking, when I look back on this space, especially, years from now, I want to remember all the in between moments too, not just the ones that made the instagram cut.
When I make a list of things that inspire me it looks something like this:
Travel: road trips, long haul international, beaches, mountains... you name it, I want to do it * Creative expression through style & beauty * Music: all kinds of it * Learning: especially things that engage my more mystical side * Relationships: my romantic one with Ben, and the friendships I've cultivated too
Really, those are the things that do it for me. And, often "Relationships" gets left off the list, because, well maybe it's obvious, but it's truly the most important. So this post is a combination of all of those things, and, in honor of that little note above, it's also a behind the scenes look at what a festival weekend really looks like... not just the pink skies at the top of the Ferris Wheel, but the crazy stories and wild laughter, the moments caught in the rain and the friendships that run through every aspect of that.
First a little back story:
In regards to travel & music: I've been following bands since I was 15. I remember my very first fest, it was a famous one, now based in Chicago, back when it was still a touring event. My bestie and I braided our hair, tie dyed our favorite t-shirts, made flower crowns and drove my '84 Jeep CJ7 to the fest to dance the next several days away.
I was bitten. I couldn't begin to tell you how many festival events or shows I've traveled to at this point in my life... and it's no surprise I ended up with a touring musician as a partner. Every Spring & Summer AKA fest season, I still get as excited as I was that day I went to that first fest. And truly, I still do it the same way. Friends, fest fashion, road trips and all the dancing we can squeeze in over the course of the weekend.
So here we are: below I'm sharing the behind the scenes moments from my time at the Hangout Festival in partnership with Subway. Every photo was shot on our iPhones, like I said, this is what it really looks like (and in the spirit of keeping it real I even shared quite a few of these to insta too 💁🏼)!
Hangout Festival Behind The Scenes
Michelle and I arrived and made a mad dash to catch the first bands. As I mentioned last week, I've been to this festival 4 times now (told ya, I'm a fest junky), and doing this weekend with my sister was so incredibly special. We were well prepared, we'd picked up a little festival kit with hand cleanser, deodorant, wipes and things of that sort plus a rain poncho in case the weather got crazy (which in our case it did)! We were fully prepared for a brilliant good time.
On our list of must sees for the weekend: Mutemath, Band of Horses, Phoenix and MGMT. Bands we saw that I wasn't expecting to kill it as hard as they did? The Suffers, Local Natives and Lany topped my list.
We headed into the Subway Green Room to check in with the team and caught up with a few of the other girls that were in for the weekend too!
One of my first 'jobs' (sometimes I can't believe I get to call it that!) for the weekend was to interview the band Coin in the Subway Green Room. I asked questions like "what job would you have if you weren't a touring musician" and "what songs make you think of the beach?" The guys were a blast, I could feel such a chemistry between them and their acoustic set in the Green Room was stellar.
We closed that first night seeing Phoenix (second time in a week)! wayyyyy down front in the VIP area.
For day 2 I decided to channel my 17 year old self and went full on hippie vibes. Grateful Dead vintage T, with my new dip dyed hair making a full on appearance.
I had another MC'ing sort of job scheduled in the Subway Green Room so were back there mid afternoon. This time I'd be introducing LP, a singer / songwriter out of New York who's written for all sorts of mega stars.
After that we took off to go spend the rest of the day in the music. My favorite set was Local Natives. dude! Watch these guys rock out the close of their show... uhm insane! And, truly the vibe out there that afternoon was so full of love. No one pushing and shoving, just people having the time of their lives. Later we had the funniest experience - a semi crazed party girl came to chat with us while we were eating, we just happened to be sitting at the same table as the band, and she somehow believed she'd seen me on stage dressed as a butterfly. We all just went with it, and the guys told her yep, I am the lead singer, and we're a family band. Ha.
We met up with my New Orleans friend Whitney after that for some pool time and caught the MGMT set pool side. (Have I mentioned how insane the VIP accommodations are at Hangout?!)
The rest of the time the rain came and went. For us, we were just happy to be together and there was plenty of places to take cover and just spend time laughing, eating, drinking and laughing some more. We stayed in the VIP Grove for most of the final day: complimentary drinks, a food tent (with Subway of course, but lots of other additions too). We watched Lany from the special VIP riser in the Grove and caught some serious lounge time too.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this behind the scenes trip to the Hangout Festival. I'll be back out with Subway again at Bonaroo in just a few weeks! Let me know if you'll be there! I love each of you for following along and would love to meet as many of you as possible in person! (Relationships, you guys)!