They came to the beach, they heard great music, they went home with even better memories. That is, if they could remember the memories they made. But either way, they found sand in strange places and odd tan lines on the way home. And despite losing headliner Sam Smith due to illness, Hangout Music Fest still had a respectable crowd on the beaches of Gulf Shores and provided three days of musical entertainment like no other. And of course, the spies were there to record all of the insane shenanigans.

Fashion drives crowd “bananas”
As you can imagine, walking up and down the public beach of Gulf Shores over and over again in mid-May gets a bit toasty. Shade is not in abundance and heat stroke was a worry. One of our spies was especially concerned for one gentleman whose need to make some sort of fashion statement outweighed his need for temperature control. On Friday, this young man was spotted walking down West Beach Boulevard in the middle of the day wearing black Spandex pants with Tetris pieces on them and a black shirt. But apparently he somehow didn’t die, because the next day he was at it again, wearing similar black stretch pants but with bananas all over them. My spy said she had a heat stroke just looking at him.

Other strange and questionable fashion choices included a couple with the dude wearing a Darth Vader mask and the girl wearing Princess Leia buns. It did not appear they understood Vader and Leia are father/daughter. Time for some Skywalker family counseling! Leia was at least sporting jorts with her ensemble, which barely covered her other buns.

Another man showed off some of his most elaborate Green Bay Packers fan hats over the weekend, one of which included a large deer head (with antlers) eating cheese.

There were more people with tattoos in a two-mile radius than in all of Austin or Brooklyn combined (probably), but one really caught the Boozester’s eye, especially this close to Memorial Day. One gentleman had an American flag tat on his back with the words “this is what we are fighting for” inked on, flanked by the profile of a naked woman on one side (kind of like the ones you see on the back tire flaps of an 18-wheeler) and dollar signs on the other. All that was missing was a can of oil and piece of fried chicken, right, Zac Brown Band? (Who was awesome, by the way.)

Probably the most exciting display of “fashion,” however, was the self-proclaimed “Dallas Naked Cowboy,” who sauntered into VIP with a very normal-looking woman at his side. He took off his clothes to show an American flag weenie bikini, cowboy boots also adorned with American flags and a hat that read what else but “Dallas Naked Cowboy.” Apparently he travels around and does this kind of stuff but usually totes a guitar around as well, which he places in front of the patriotic “banana hammock” so he does appear to be naked.

Anyway, the spies can confirm the fair-complected man took skincare very seriously, as he spent about 20 minutes applying sunscreen. He was happy to pose for pictures with all who asked and directed them to find him via his various social media pages.

While we’re at it, my spies noted that American Flag bikinis, thongs, shorts, shirts, hats, sunglasses and t-shirts are waaaaay “in” this year. So don’t think twice about donning the Stars and Stripes, especially if you’re going to let it all hang out.

Surprise appearance excites no one
During an early morning show (as in just after noon, not 1 a.m.) the band Floating Action played a set to almost no one at one of the smaller stages. They were very good, but it seemed as if everyone was in a daze due to the heat of that particular stage and of course, two solid days of partying. The lead signer invited a special friend on stage to play saxophone on one of their tunes.

The man was wearing a black moo moo and wearing Jackie O-like sunglasses. They played the song and when he exited the stage the leader singer said, “Thanks to Jim James [lead singer of My Morning Jacket] for helping us out there.” Everyone seemed totally startled they had just missed recognizing who just performed. You could also see the other members of the band enjoying their set backstage.

“Nashville” star spotted
Sixteen-year-old Lennon Stella, who plays Maddie Conrad on the hit ABC show “Nashville,” was spotted in the VIP section of the Hangout Stage during the Vance Joy show. Stella, who plays the daughter of star Connie Britton, sings on the show quite often and seemed to know all the words to Joy’s songs. She took time to pose for selfies with fans and looked to be having a good time with her buds.

We also hear “Daddy” from the show “Party Down South” was strolling the fest. Exciting.

A tiskit, a taskit, oh no, not my flask-it
OK, just FYI and for future reference, to all of you folks who thought you would get away with sneaking booze into the festival with those flasks that look like sunscreen tubes, don’t bother. The festival folks are wise to this and security officers at the gate were on the lookout, so much so they were squeezing people’s actual sunscreen out on accident looking for booze.

Although one spy did notice a real bottle of sunscreen containing liquor being squirted out by one of the guards. The Boozester notice a girl drinking out of her hairbrush flask, inside the gate, so maybe they haven’t figured those out just yet. No word on if anyone was able to get their tampon flasks through (yes, also a real product). The guards weren’t playing. One male spy claimed he had his “junk” honked on two different days.

They ain’t playin’
As two of the spies headed back home on Monday morning, they drove by a home near the festival grounds which had clearly been charging people to park in their yard. It seems the owner of one car who parked there failed to pay, because it was wrapped from bumper to bumper in Saran Wrap and had a sign on it that read, “You don’t pay, we play.” Nice!

Just asking…
Which radio station employee MAY have had a bit too much fun after he was spotted leaning out of the station’s SUV and puking Saturday morning? We also hear one man was peeing in the urinal at the Pink Pony when someone busted through the door and barfed in the urinal “mid-stream.” Yum!

Well kids, that’s all I got.  Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or some plain ol’ Dallas Naked Cowboy lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!