Photo | Boozie Spy

Oh my. You guys really let it all “hang out” once again. And in some cases, I mean that literally. My sunburned spies are back from Gulf Shores full of tales from Hangout Fest (at least the ones they can remember), and I have woven them all together for you. Sort of like a Hangout Fest gossip quilt — just in time for summer! So wrap yourself up in it and get cozy with Boozie!

Fun, frivolity and fanny packs

Hangout Music Fest wrapped up Sunday after another successful weekend in Gulf Shores. Thursday’s kickoff party was canceled due to storms, but tickets were refunded and the rest of the weekend went on as scheduled, with no more than a little heat and rip current risk to complain about.

Improvements to the common areas were noticeable over years past, with lines moving faster from the entrances to the concessions. The stage layout was altered but the whole footprint was intuitive. New attractions this year included a roller skating rink and hydration/relaxation tent and patio. The grounds stayed cleaner thanks to a volunteer pick-up effort, where people who turned in a bag of trash were awarded beach swag, including sunglasses, dry storage bags, towels and coupons. Even by sundown Friday, one girl said she had just walked out of “the cleanest port-o-potty ever.” It takes a village, I guess.

Fashions haven’t evolved much, as a swimsuit or “beach chic” serves as the core of most outfits. A few bold attendees opted for body paint in lieu of bikini tops, so more power to them. Due to new bag policies, however, the festival might have become the world’s greatest exhibit of fanny packs. Along with temporary tattoos, hair color and glitter (lots and lots and lots of glitter), the fanny pack in its many colors and prints was the most ubiquitous accessory. A few personal favorites included one with a machine-gun toting kitten riding a unicorn over a rainbow, one with a hairy “dad bod” belly and several with “fannies” of all shapes and sizes.

One “gentleman” with a man bun was spotted wearing nothing but a G-string bikini bottom and green tennis shoes. On his back, someone had written, “I eat [expletive]!” It’s too dirty for Boozie to write out loud, but it rhymed with “sass.” One day he will be someone’s father.

As far as the music is concerned it was perhaps the most “woke” year ever. There were frequent political remarks from the young and diverse lineup, although some fans appeared to be confused by Pussy Riot’s message. The Moscow-based feminist protest punk rock group weren’t set back by their incarceration in the Gulag, and they tend to speak to issues they are passionate about.

Kendrick Lamar briefly stopped his show after a white, female fan he invited onstage to sing his song “MAAD City” stayed true to the lyrics and sang the chorus with the “N-word” more than once. The Los Angeles-based rapper, who won a Pulitzer Prize last month for his 2017 album “Damn,” said perhaps he didn’t explain “the rules” of singing the song. “You gotta bleep one single word though,” he told the fan, who seemed surprised and embarrassed. After the fan apologized, Lamar asked the crowd whether she should remain on stage. She received mixed reviews, but Lamar allowed her to sing a few more bars before her microphone was silenced.

Covers included The Killers doing Tom Petty’s “American Girl” on the same stage Petty headlined in 2013, Tank and The Bangas closed their set with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and The Chainsmokers remixed The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” Big Boi came through with many of your favorite OutKast hits. The Boom Boom Tent smelled like a combination of a humid locker room and the county fair, but St. Vincent’s fans were undeterred.

He don’t give a toot

A spy who was shopping in the Publix on Hillcrest this past Friday night walked up to a group of 40-something-year-olds giggling. My spy just had to find out what had turned their tickle boxes over, so she inquired. Even though they were in the meat aisle, they weren’t making jokes about sausage, my dirty-minded spy said. It seems an elderly man had just walked by with his buggy and had just let out “the loudest fart” the shoppers had ever heard, causing them all to turn around and take notice. The gentleman who dealt it apparently hadn’t smelt it or even been aware he had just crop-dusted them. Ahhh, there are some advantages to being really old. You can get away with a lot!

Well kids, that’s all I got. Don’t let the fear-mongering meteorologists scare you out of enjoying the holiday weekend. I can’t have them ruining my ability to collect gossip. Anyway, just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or some plain ol’ fanny pack lovin’, I will be there.  Ciao!