In 2014, I worked for a local promotions company that would send me to various music festivals to interview bands. This gave me a chance to experience each festival inside and out. The constantly improving Float Fest was my first stop and there is no other way to put it, 2014 was not their year. Based out of San Marcos, Texas the festivals focuses on floating the river and catching your favorite touring acts. Maybe I’ve just turned into the old woman I secretly am, but between zero provided shade, lack of food, and overpriced bottled water, I was not impressed.
I decided to give Float Fest another chance this year when I discovered that Pop Pistol, Future Islands, and Metric was on the line up. Yes, I know. We’ve all seen Metric, but 2009 was the perfect year for “Sick Music” to come out for a 23 year me, and I geeked out internally as she so sweetly sang it to the crowd.
Day 1 provided a solid lineup to include, Yeasayer, Santigold, Future Islands, and more. I was most impressed by the Baltimore based band Future Islands. You can’t help but think that Meatloaf and Rammstein singer Till Lindemann had a love child that formed singer, Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands. Being my first live experience with them, I was completely enamored by his stage presence and passion for each lyric. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about Santigold. How many wardrobe changes can you fit in a 40 minute set? Four. You can fit four. The alternative reggae band that I was very much excited for was shadowed by awkward DJ sets and a confused audience.
Day 2 could have been the hottest day of the year in Texas. Thankfully, the festival provided plenty of shade and very affordable beverages to keep you hydrated. Small groups formed in the shaded areas to catch sets from local acts like Wild Moccasins, Pop Pistol, and Emily Bell. Each opening band that played powered through the 100 degree weather, which made for an even more powerful performance.
The crowd seemed to double in numbers as the sun went down. Frat-Friendly Indie Pop band, Bleachers drew a massive crowd playing hit after hit to an increasingly intoxicated audience. That’s when the real party began. Big Gigantic took the Indie day theme and brought it down to a full on dance party, paving the way for Chromeo’s set. The Canadian electro-funk band stood unfazed on the side of the stage with guitars in hand while the crowd chanted, “Chromeo, Chromeo.”
There is something to be said about the beginnings of a new festival. It’s a learning experience and not a cheap one. Many things go into planning such a large event, and after getting the full Float Fest experience, I must say that I am extremely impressed by the lineup and care for the audience and plan on attending again in 2017. If you’re looking for live music and a quick getaway by the river, then Float Fest is for you. I’ll see you there.