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)!
You'll Also Like
I'm finishing packing up for a weekend down at Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I've been to this festival many times, some of my favorite memories of times with friends have happened at this fest. I'm doing this year a little differently, however. I'll be staying at a beautifulllll b'n'b about 30 miles away, and taking notes on things to do for the female adventurer too. (Come back for that post, and follow along on my IG stories to get an inside look at our b'n'b starting tomorrow!)
I've always loved festivals on the beach and to be honest, I JUST checked the line up and am kinda wayyyyy excited: Phoenix, Band of Horses, MGMT and Mutemath are topping my list. It's my first beach weekend of the year, and as a girl that's always happiest by the water it feels like it's the perfect kick off to the summer.
I took a last minute road trip this past weekend to Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta (and wow, it was a good one! Two weekends in a row of Phoenix, my faveeee, and omg I'm a happy camper.) One of the things I love most about a good road trip is the excitement of jumping in the car and just, well - going for it.
I'm truly thinking through my festival packing list this go round since it's a three day deal. I'll be meeting up with a group of travel & style bloggers in partnership with Subway (yummy salads and "green room" accommodations at the fest, yes please!), and there's two things I'm thinking about as I get my trunk loaded up:
1. Festivals give us the perfect opportunity to rock out our most adventurous bohemian summer fashions (I mean, c'mon whether we like it or not Coachella seems to be the new Fashion Week).
2. I don't want to look like a "fest girl wannabe." At all. And you shouldn't either. Be your best you, and maybe funk it up a bit and you'll have the best time.
So here's what I'm packing and a little of the prep I'm doing before road tripping to the beach tomorrow.
So there we have it loves. I'll catch you guys at the top of the ferris wheel and I hope you guys will follow along this weekend on insta. I'll definitely be sharing a post festival recap. Share your thoughts on my packing list in the comments. Anything I'm missing?! What's your festival style?
These streets will make you feel brand new....
I just returned home from a week in New York.
There are so many ways to fill time in that brilliant city — New York shines in the warmer months, there’s something uniquely magical about New York spring days. Jay-Z wasn't lying, you guys. I knew I'd be in for a treat this past week, and truly, as expected the city delivered.
We'd be staying in the NOMO, it's a hotel I found myself complimenting each time someone asked - btw - I highly recommend it - we were tucked away from the madness up in our 19th floor light filled room and the service was stellar every day. (🙌🏽 to the gentlemen that gave me a free coffee as I rushed to an early morning meeting at my publisher's office after a 3 AM rock show night - who does that to themselves you guys?!)
On the list of favorites of this trip: VBar & Cafe (French cafe vibes with a Smashing Pumpkins playlist), and While We Were Young (they gave us gummy bears with our check! and you'll want to instagram every corner of the glossier pink space) both are in the West Village, and then Bô Cà Phé in Soho (cheap French wine & Vietnamese noodle bowls, I went twice).
On this trip I scheduled almost every hour ... days filled with meetings and catch up coffee and wine dates with girlfriends and then Ben had 2 shows and a Colbert show appearance (!!!).
Oui We, STAY
NOMO Soho: 9 Crosby St. NYC
Oui We, DRINK & DINE
VBar & Cafe: 225 Sullivan St. NYC
While We Were Young: 183 W 10th St. NYC
Bô Cà Phé: 222 Lafayette St. NYC
NOMO Kitchen: 9 Crosby St. NYC
As I was preparing for this trip, as I always do, I contemplated what I could fit into 1 carry-on and 1 big backpack. And it occurred to me... I truly never feel quite myself when dressing in NYC. I regularly advise to pack a few vintage dresses and all the basics whenever asked for a packing strategy ... yet somehow, I always feel that I'm missing something when I pack that way for New York.
So on this trip I asked myself - what's usually missing? Why don't I feel my chicest...? (Or what am I having to steal out of my fashionista friends' closets while there, PERKS of having fashionable friends) and here's what occurred to me - in New York, more than anywhere else, statement pieces make a big difference.
So this go round I approached things a bit differently. I still considered vintage, but rather than my standard day dresses, I opted for high waisted pieces, coupled with kitchsy T's by day for example, and things with a bit of flare and sparkle at night ... I chose things that in any other city might toe the line in regards to the drama of the piece... I have a sequin jacket that's literally been a game changer (who doesn't feel on fire in sequins?!) and a velvet one too and I added those to my nightly ensemble and felt immediately dressed up. I added a vintage beret and oversized sunnies by day, and this time, even when running around from meeting to afternoon coffee date (like I am in these shots) I felt I had my style back.
Oui We, Wear in New York
The city look is effortlessly chic in a refined way. A jacket layered over slim separates with a statement bag and dark shades is always a good way to go. From Topshop to Opening Ceremony, there are so many brands that embody the city girl spirit (and so many places to shop in the city, of course).
For me however, on a writer's budget I'm not so interested in shopping, but rather repurposing things I have. So a t-shirt with a fun message or story, paired with high waisted flowy pants in a bold pattern can totally have a girl standing out. Honestly - the day I wore this outfit, I was stopped 3 times by people with cameras to snap a photo of my outfit - hey that in itself is a confidence booster 👋🏼. Funny how that works, it's not an expensive outfit or one that was tricky to put together, just something a bit bolder than my usual running around options.
Here's a few versions of the same type of look, mix & match any of the t-shirts with the printed pants:
What About The Shoes?
New York is a place where everyone walks. It's imperative to pack the right shoes to be able to cover miles in a day: lace up flats, an elevated pair of sneakers, or wedges are all good choices. Right before my trip I received these wingtips from Johnston & Murphy and I have to say, I wore them day in and day out. I took a look at a few of the other options J&M have, and truly they've got the city style down.
And the Bag
I've mentioned quite a few times before, I've been wearing my leather backpacks pretty much everywhere I go, and I typically choose one that will fit down inside my carry-on to make room for an extra bag for my laptop and things. If I've got meetings it's good to have something a teeny bit larger to keep a notebook, camera, etc inside. I've never been a designer bag girl, however, spending just a little bit more on a well-made bag is so worth it.