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The popular Central Texas floating and music festival, Float Fest, returned with a bang in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus. Over the weekend from July 23-24, concertgoers (including me) braved the triple-digit temperatures to listen to good music, tube the river, and camp under the stars.

Like most concerts and events, Float Fest was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s unclear why no plans were set for 2021. However, the string of bad luck started in 2019 when organizers canceled the festival a month before the event due to the new grounds in Gonzales not being ready. 

For some, it was their first time attending Float Fest, including me. I planned to just attend on that Saturday, July 23, but my co-workers convinced me to camp as well, which we did. The short drive to the 765-acre private property in Gonzales felt like I was leaving the city and a Hill Country ranch with no service. 

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

The long dirt road to our campsite left our truck (and us) filled with sticky dust for the remainder of the weekend. The horrible heat was no joke, but once we set up camp and headed into the festival, we were welcomed with nothing but amazing energy. 

It’s true what they say about festivals. The atmosphere of music rejuvenates your soul and everyone is extremely friendly. I loved all the energetic people I met. Nicole Waller, 27, said her first time at Float Fest was great. The San Antonio resident said she thought the new grounds were perfect for a festival like Float Fest. However, she said it was too far from any hotels or Airbnbs. Waller said she had to drive from Seguin to attend the festival. 

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“It was organized beautifully though,” Waller said. “Everything was pretty seamless. We all love how open it was, and how many different vendors there were! There was a little something for everyone. The only drawback was this Texas heat. We were so thankful for the water refill stations that were provided. Overall, it was a great weekend.”

@mysanantonio #floatfest2022 in the books! ?’? #floatfest #gonzalestx #gonzalestexas #texassummercheck #thingstodointexas #sanantoniotiktok #texastiktok #musicfestivals #alyandaj #texasfloat #texasthings ♬ som original – WSR

Artists that dazzled the crowds included popular acts such as Aly and AJ, Chance the Rapper, Cage the Elephant, Marshmello, Tove Lo, Hippie Sabotage, Vampire Weekend, and Deadmaus5. I only saw Aly and AJ, Two Feet, and Chance the Rapper on Saturday before tapping out due to exhaustion around 11 p.m. The campsite was nearby and I slept like a baby. 

On Sunday, July 24, we stayed for Hippie Sabotage (one of my favorite performances because they engaged with the crowd) before heading back to San Antonio. The Texas sun was not being nice and we couldn’t hack it anymore. Props to all the festivalgoers that did. Even the artists themselves couldn’t believe people were outside. 

Jeremy Gonzalez, 25, from Houston said he thought the venue was cool. He added that the camping ground was really cool but wished there weren’t huge potholes in some spots because it was dark at night. I can agree with that. I did trip more than once heading back and forth from the portable bathrooms, which I hoped would be cleaner. I had to hold my breath every time. 

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Overall, most concertgoers had a good time. While we didn’t tube due to lack of time on our part, it was nice meeting new people and enjoying music. Before Hippe Sabotage, someone next to me told me how it was her third time at the festival. She said she preferred the Gonzales site to the previous San Marcos location as she felt it had more room and space for fun. Her name was Trisha but the music started playing before she told me her last name. At that point, the crowd started jumping and I lost her. 

I’d for sure go again. However, I won’t be camping again at a festival because I’m still extremely exhausted. My 29-year-old self needs an Airbnb or hotel after a long concert day filled with jumping, dancing, and singing. 

Scroll below to see more photos from Float Fest 2022.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

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Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

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Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Float Fest returned with a bang at its new property in Gonzales after a three-year hiatus.

Abigail Im, Multimedia producer

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