Texas Summer Music Festival Floats Hill Country With Biggest Lineup Yet
It’s never too early to start thinking about — or mentally escaping — summer music festivals. After five years of float party – the very Texas tradition of floating down the Guadalupe River between twenty full-fledged concerts – music lovers and dedicated floaters usually know what to expect. But this July 23 and 24, after a move and a revival, there are a few retuned updates.
Float Fest is back in action after three years of complications, from a slippery permit that was not acquired in 2019 to the ever-present COVID shutdowns of 2020 and 2021. This time it’s in a new location, a mysterious” unnamed private ranch” in Gonzales, Texas. The new digs are about 50 miles from the previous location at Martindale, and three times as large.
Without leaving the ranch’s 765 acres, visitors can access several general stores, food and beverage vendors, and nearly 2 miles of river. Organizers have stepped up the event with more camping (in the 450 acres of shaded pecan groves), floating and parking. It’s still two days, but guests are welcome on Fridays – a great time to relax and get acquainted with the new location, an hour or two from Austin, San Antonio and Houston (with shuttles from the two ancient cities).
More than 25 bands are promised in the festival’s largest lineup to date, to match the festival’s logistical upgrade. In September 2021, Float Fest issued a call for public comment on its social media channels, asking for requests for upcoming lineup.
The most recent Float Fest, in 2018, featured headliners Bassnectar, Run the Jewels, Tame Impala and Cold War Kids. This year, the program could logically include some of the neglected artists of the calendar 2019 which never was, titled by Major Lazer, Portugal. The Man (who starts a tour in February), Gucci Mane and Kaskade. MISSIO, an Austin-based band on the discontinued lineup, appeared at the last Austin City Limits music festival to great acclaim.
Gonzales, site of the Battle of Gonzales in 1835 and creator of the sarcastic but so Texan Come and take the motto, is full of Texas history. From an old-fashioned town center to historic mansions, there’s plenty to see if air conditioning and a break from camping sound appealing. The Gonzales Memorial Museum still has the cannon that started the Texas Revolution, and Baker Boys BBQ, one of Texas monthly‘s 50 Best Barbecues of 2021, features charcoal-smoked specialties. Accommodations for music fans who also love showers and beds range from standard American chains to the stunning 1912 white-columned Belle Oaks Inn.
Float Fest 2022 will take place on Saturday July 23 and Sunday July 24. Check floatfest.net for updates on the lineup, location, and other important event details.