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Hangout Books Activists, Donates Profits

10:01 AM Wednesday 5/12/10 | |

Not only is the Hangout Beach Music And Arts Festival, scheduled for this weekend in Gulf Shores, Ala., donating all its profits to Gulf Coast restoration and relief efforts, but it’s increasing its commitment to the environment with appearances by well-known activists.

You can’t help but appreciate the unique situation the folks behind Hangout have found themselves in. Presenting a multi-day festival they’re planning to establish as a national destination event, organizers prepped three days of fun in the sun on the Gulf Coast May 14-16.

  • Mixing Oil & Water

    Oily water is seen at sunset at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.
    May 11, 2010

    (AP Photo)

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But the April fire and explosion of drilling rig Deepwater Horizon and the ever-growing spill resulting from the calamity changed the lives of everyone living and working on the Gulf, music festivals included.

Hangout is increasing Gulf-relief awareness by scheduling a few activists, one of which should be a familiar name. She’s Erin Brockovich, subject of the 2000 movie of the same name starring Julia Roberts. Brockovich will be joined by Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy” and Sierra Club Board President Allison Chin as the three participate in panel discussions and press conferences at the festival May 15 at 3 p.m. and May 16 at 2:30 p.m.

The festival is donating all profits to Gulf relief efforts, no easy task when you consider this is the festival’s debut outing – a situation when box office results often spell life or death for newbie events.

“The Gulf Coast is what makes the Hangout Music Festival so unique,” Festival co-founder Shaul Zislin said. “It is one of the most pristine coastlines in all of America, and we will donate every penny above our costs to keep it clean.”

Joining Hangout will be nonpartisan organization HeadCount, which will establish a booth at the festival for attendees to write local senators and congressmen regarding Gulf relief as well as serve as a receiving station for donations and supplies. HeadCount will host Sunday’s panel discussion that also includes musicians in addition to the aforementioned activists.

The lineup, which includes Trey Anastasio & TAB, Zac Brown Band, John Legend, The Black Crowes, The Roots, Gov’t Mule and Alison Krauss + Union Station feat. Jerry Douglas, also features Preservation Hall Jazz Band. This is especially noteworthy because Hangout organizers, along with Rehage Entertainment (Voodoo Experience, Essence) are working with Fuse TV to film the band’s experiences as it travels across Louisiana and Alabama for the “Concerts For The Coast” documentary project. The band plays Friday at Hangout and Sunday at the Rehage-produced Gulf Aid Benefit in New Orleans that also features Lenny Kravitz, Allen Toussaint, Mos Def, Ani DiFranco and Zachary Richard.

  • Saving The Gulf

    Boats involved in the containment efforts are seen at sunset at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
    May 10, 2010

    (AP Photo)

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Of course, the festival’s website will tell you everything you need to know about the first-ever Hangout. Just click here.


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