Float Fest 2018: A Review

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By Caleigh Wells

Float Fest is a music festival that combines the traditional music and camping experience of original festival experiences, with a unique San Marcos flare, that is, the ability to float the San Marcos river before entering the festival grounds. In the middle of July in Texas, the river as well as free water stations do as much as they can to take off some of the scorching heat one must endure when attending this fest.

Upon entering the festival, the first thing that hits you beside the endless, oppressive heat is the dust. The festival is located pretty much in the middle of nowhere-- a large, empty space among fields of corn just outside of San Marcos. The lack of trees and minimal plants enables dust to be easily kicked up by cars that line up to park outside the festival grounds. Festival campers set up their tents just outside the festival as well, and campers soaked up the shade in front of portable fans for as long as they could.

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Once inside the actual grounds, there are about four things to do, five if you include trying to avoid the beating sun under one of the few large tarp tents set up inside. You can attend one of the two stages to listen to some music, from artists like A Wild Now, A Giant Dog, Joywave, Lil Wayne, Cold War Kids, Modest Mouse, or Tame Impala. Hungry? Grab a bite from one of the many food booths that line the perimeter of the festival grounds-- anything from popsicles to Texas BBQ to sushi, and everything in between.

Another activity attendees could try were the carnival rides, although those mostly stood untouched, baking in the sun during the day time. If you bought a VIP pass, you could head to the AC tent, which as you might have guessed, blasted AC onto those willing to pay a little extra.  However, the first day of the festival, the AC was broken for a few hours, and whether or not VIP passholders were able to get some sort of refund is unknown.

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Although there were many low points during Float Fest, the peak was the festival’s headliner, Tame Impala who closed the fest Sunday night. With stunning visuals and their groovy, psychedelic rock sound, they put on a great show. The crowd stretched across the festival grounds as almost every attendee was there to watch and listen.

With increasingly popular lineups, Float Fest has the potential to be a great festival. Attendees should be prepared for the Texas heat in the middle of the summer, as well as the wobbly coordination of the entire festival. The two day fest had its hiccups, but being a smaller fest from a small town, it was kind of expected. With the correct improvements, it could be a great annual summer activity.

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