GULF SHORES — Most of the artists may have traveled in on big-ticket lineups, but Hangout Music Festival supported several local businesses over the three-day event. From yoga sessions and …
GULF SHORES — Most of the artists may have traveled in on big-ticket lineups, but Hangout Music Festival supported several local businesses over the three-day event.
From yoga sessions and public art to gyros and iced coffee, Baldwin-based businesses set up as vendors and attractions. Here are a few highlights.
This local Greek spot hit the sand this weekend, offering a locally curated menu to festival goers.
Theresa, a Pensacola resident and cashier for the booth, said she travels every year to help run the booth alongside the owners of Efes Greek Kitchen.
"I started coming in 2017. I came with friends to serve and catch an artist or two if I'm lucky," she said with a laugh.
This year, the booth offered a variety of Greek favorites, including gyros, chicken pitas, falafel wraps, chicken tenders and cheese fries.
"Learned a lot since the first year. The smoothest thing we have learned is to not take cash anymore. Using Apple Pay or cards makes everything much easier."
Taking on their second year as an official vendor at the Hangout Music Festival, this Gulf Shores-based craft coffee shop spent their weekend jamming to music and brewing coffee on the beach.
Kale Troha, owner, said he was excited to return to the sandy beaches for the festival this year.
"After last year, we knew what to do as far as anticipating supply and demand, and we are here from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day this year," Troha said.
This year, the festival menu offered a few of the most popular items from the shop, including cold brew, iced vanilla lattes, iced lavender lattes, iced vanilla matcha lattes and fresh squeezed lavender, strawberry or original lemonades.
"We choose our menu based on what our clientele wants. We serve a lot of younger people, so we try to base our menu off of what we do in the shop," Troha said. "Most likely, the people who come down for spring break are the same people who come to the festival, so we look back and see what we sell the most during that time."
Troha said he was excited to take on the challenge of serving such a large event as a local business.
"I think the Hangout festival tries to seek out locals. They definitely give the locals the opportunity to do it, and it's really up to the locals if they want to take on the challenge," Troha said.
Glow Yoga returned to the beach for their third year, offering morning yoga classes to festival goers looking for a bit of relaxation during an intense weekend.
Jennifer Guthrie, studio owner, said she was excited to take on the challenge when Hangout reached out to her in 2019 to attend the festival as a vendor.
"The Hangout family is a huge supporter of us. We actually offer them corporate memberships to the studio," Guthrie said. "We are excited every year to show up and do our classes."
Guthrie said when they started in 2019, the class sizes averaged 100-150 attendees. Since the festival returned after the COVID-19 pandemic, participation has decreased.
"Yoga is so adaptable for everyone. On Sunday, we had someone in the class who had a bad experience at another studio and was nervous for the class. It ended up being a small group, and she said that made her much more comfortable to continue trying yoga," Guthrie said.
The studio offers a class at 11 a.m. each morning of the festival consisting of beginner-level yoga that is accessible to any patron.
"When I go down every day to teach the class, I try to take the time to be grateful," Guthrie said. "It is such a cool opportunity to be able to enjoy music on the beach in a paradise. Some people can only visit for a week at a time, but as locals, we live here and it is easy to take that for granted."
The only parts of the white sandy beaches not touched by festival feet were roped off and built up.
Janel Hawkins, owner of Sand Castle University, and a small crew were commissioned by Hangout to create several pieces during the three-day event.
By the end of the last musical act, six works of sandy art were on display, some adorned with shells while others featured curvy and lined details.
"We've got Fyn the Flying Fish, Willow the Mermaid, Daisy the Flower Turtle, Octavius the Octopus and one more tomorrow (Sunday) morning, an eel. We never name them until we see the finished product," she said.
Hawkins build sand castles, animals and other masterpieces for public art and on a commission basis. Groups can also take classes with her and her staff, where tools are provided and guidance is given to help attendees create their very own works of art.
In 2022, Bondi Bowls Gulf Coast owner Janese Nelson got a call from festival organizers the day before it began to ask if she could set up in the General Admission Plus area. The request came with the potential for a vendor spot in the General Admission area for the 2023 festival.
Nelson said they were happy to get accepted into General Admission this year.
"This is our first big event," said franchise owner Bailey Wilson, who traveled from Oklahoma to help for the weekend. "That is why it is so exciting to be out here supporting them and helping out. We have done some small local festivals but nothing to this extreme. There has been a lot of adapting, and we are figuring it all out as we go."
To keep things running smooth and keep lines moving, Nelson pared the normal truck menu down to the two most popular bases, pitaya and acai, and the six top selling bowls. She also included a favorite from the Daphne store, energy balls made with Bondi Bowls vegan granola, chocolate chips, agave and homemade peanut butter.