Float Fest made a splash this year at the Cool River Ranch in San Marcos, Texas. I had the opportunity and pleasure of covering the festival, and will share my experience as well as some tips to make sure anyone planning on attending next year feels prepared.
Initially, with the temperature rising to the triple digits, I was dreading stepping onto the festival grounds of Float Fest. Don’t get me wrong—I was super excited for the festival itself as well as the musicians performing (really though, who doesn’t love Tame Impala?). Luckily, however, there were plenty of shaded areas as well as an accessible water filling station, next to several rows of porta potties; the three things to spot for as you enter festival grounds. Being hydrated is essential, as heatstroke really is no joke; so make sure to always bring a refillable water bottle. The “Frigid Float Lounge” was a necessity in order to fully enjoy the festival; as it was simply so hot out that being able to step into a cool, large, shaded tent free from the sun felt like a glimpse of heaven. I seriously recommend it for anyone who plans on attending this festival. Sunscreen is absolutely necessary when it comes to any prolonged sun exposure, especially at a festival where you’re outside for 6+ hours. Hats and especially sunglasses are also vital for sun protection, so taking those with you would be a smart move, too.
Two words: baby wipes. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful these were— whether it was actually using them when there was no toilet paper, or just simply wiping yourself to cleanse your body of sweat, a small pack of baby wipes is a great thing to have (if you have room in whatever bag you decide to bring). My friends and I loved having them!
If you decide to float down the river, definitely bring some sort of waterproof, airtight pouch to ensure none of your valuables get damaged. The float itself is approximately 2-3 hours long, and the river is nice and refreshing.
As for the festival itself, when you enter the grounds, there are several signs and big inner tubes to take pictures with— definitely Instagram worthy. There was also a Ferris wheel, as well as a few other rides and carnival games which was unique. Several different food booths were all around, giving festival goers plenty of options. Lots of frozen treats were also available; trust me, that $4 popsicle will definitely be worth it.
Some of my favorite performers included Joywave (pictured above), Cold War Kids, and Tame Impala. If you haven’t checked them out, I definitely recommend doing so! Joywave definitely knew how to entertain a crowd, not only with their performance but with the comments the lead singer, Daniel Armbruster made throughout the show. A notable quote was him talking about that it was simply so hot out that the microphone was even burning his hand, making the entire crowd laugh. Cold War Kids played some killer crowd favorites such as “First” and “Hang Me Up To Dry” which had the entire crowd singing along. Tame Impala especially had the entire festival packed, as there seemed to be double the attendees on Sunday, the day Tame Impala performed. Laser shows, and crazy light programming was a highlight of their performance.
Whether you decide to attend Float Fest next year or not, I definitely recommend keeping the tips in mind for whichever festival you decide to attend. Keep on floatin’!