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Dominated by Sun & Water, Welcome to Float Fest [Review]

I finally washed away the seven layers of dust caked onto my skin. Now let me tell you about Float Fest this past weekend.

The Best

San Marcos River

Seriously, if this river didn’t exist, half of the festival would’ve died. With temperatures hitting near-record highs over the weekend (104° on Sunday), my crew must’ve spent at least 8 hours altogether just sitting in the river. It recharged our minds & bodies when the sun became too much. And yes, the river is completely accessible without tubing passes. It’s only a short walk from the campgrounds. If you wanted, you could bring your own tube, walk down to the river, and tube yourself without paying the extra fees for tubing passes.

No Schedule Conflicts

Float Fest is small. It isn’t a Bonnaroo or a Burning Man. Capacity maxed-out at 20,000 attendees. There were only two stages: the Water Stage and the Sun Stage. Each act immediately followed the next on the opposite stage. This made things especially easy-going as we didn’t have to worry about missing anyone due to a scheduling conflict.

Perfect Mix of Festival Attendee-Types

When Float Fest dropped their lineup in Spring, all of my friends took to Twitter to express their excitement. Not only did my basshead friends get hype for Bassnectar, but my psychedelic-rock friends for Tame Impala, my rap friends for Run The Jewels and Lil Wayne, my indie-rock friends for Modest Mouse, my chill-electronic friends for Cashmere Cat and Com Truise. A variety of music attracts a variety of festival-goers. Bros, wooks, families, old-heads, and first-time festival attendees were all to be found at Float Fest. I met a frat-bro at Tame Impala absolutely mesmerized by an older woman flowing with her $500 hoop. This simple connection epitomized the draw and unlikely associations that Float Fest fostered.

Lil Wayne Showed Up, On Time, Ready to Perform

I don’t have to go into great detail for you all to know that rappers aren’t the most consistent at showing up on time. I was especially worried about Lil Wayne not following through. This past May he bailed on his Rolling Loud Miami performance minutes before his set. But this past weekend, he was right on time and put on a quality show.

Bassnectar & Tame Impala Headlining

Float Fest couldn’t have picked two better artists to close out each night. Simply put, they’re the kings of their respective genres. Bassnectar will be considered a historical musical figure after his time – people who haven’t heard of EDM have heard the name Bassnectar. Tame Impala is the modern-day equivalent of Pink Floyd. Their psychedelic influences perfectly complimented one another, as well. Tame Impala’s visuals could have been played during Lorin’s set and vice versa.

The Worst

The Heat

The only major complaint I came across was the heat. It was dusty, hot and altogether brutal. Like I mentioned earlier, if it wasn’t for the river, the weekend would have been hell. But what people have to remember is that Float Fest has no control over the heat and attendees knew what they were getting into prior to purchasing tickets. It’s the middle of Texas in the middle of July. What else would you expect?

Lack of Security

I know I’m nit-picking here, but in 2018 I’d rather be safe than sorry. Security at the festival was a joke. Our cars weren’t searched whatsoever when entering the campgrounds and entry into the festival required a quick glance into our bags. There were no metal detectors. We would all like to think that festivals are carefree places – as they should be – but I shouldn’t have to remind anyone of the tragedy at another music festival that occurred last year in Las Vegas.

In Conclusion 

I would attend this festival again in a heartbeat. Two days in the Texan heat is more than enough time to soak in everything. Tier One tickets sold at $120, which is a steal considering the quality of artists on the lineup. The merciless sun and rejuvenating river dominated our camping experience, just as the Water and Sun stages dominated our festival experience. A diverse mix of artists attracted a diverse mix of attendees whose worlds collided for one scorching weekend.


Photos & Videos: Float Fest Twitter Page, @gabbyducret_, & Eugene Dupré III

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