Over coffee Thursday, Gulf Shores, Alabama promoter Shaul Zislin had some exciting news to share for Atlanta music fans who still miss Music Midtown each May.
Zislin was in town to announce the inaugural Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival to hit the beach in Gulf Shores May 14-16.
Zislin, the owner of the massive 500-seat beachfront Hangout eatery has convinced city officials to allow him to set up a multi-stage music festival on the public beach with room for 35,000 fans.
It sounds like they might require all that sand too with the line-up Zislin has managed to secure.
Atlanta’s own 2010 Grammy Best New Artist winners Zac Brown Band is set to headline the three-day festival, along with Phish man Trey Anastasio and R&B singer John Legend.
Also on the bill from these parts: The Atlanta-birthed Black Crowes, the members of Blind Boys of Alabama and Athens’ own The Whigs.
Of the festival’s impressive musical diversity, Zislin told Intel: “Our mission statement in organizing the festival was to keep it broad in appeal. “
Rounding out the line-up: Ben Harper, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Gov’t Mule, The Flaming Lips, Ray LaMontagne, Brett Dennen, Guster, Jerry Jeff Walker and a dozen other acts.
Zislin says the continued absence of a big Atlanta festival like Music Midtown here has motivated him to sell his event to Atlantans along with the folks on the Gulf Shores.
“Atlanta is going to be a major market for us,” he explained. “We’re four hours away and really, with the time change it’s only three hours. We give you back that extra hour as a bonus for visiting!”
The Hangout Festival is being marketed to the slightly older folks who have retired from the less hygienic conditions of say, Bonnaroo.
The area’s 17,000 adjacent beachfront condo units available for rent are not a coincidence, in other words.
“We’re appealing to those music fans who have outgrown going to Bonnaroo for four days with no showers,” he explains.
“What could be better than waking up to the ocean and walking down the beach to see some of your favorite bands?”
For more info on the fest, go to the official Hangout Festival website.