Saturday marks the start of the fourth annual Float Fest music festival at Cool River Ranch in Martindale, Texas (about 40 minutes south of Austin). What is remarkable about this festival apart from the fact it is the first to offer tubing is how fast it has grown. Last year, nearly 10,000 fans floated the Comal River then watched the likes of Chromeo, Santigold, Future Islands and Bone, Thugs & Harmony deliver fest-worthy performances while enjoying a ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl and other carnival attractions between sets. A limited number of tickets remain for the nearly sold-out show according to event organizers.
The 2017 version of Float Fest offers a different approach to booking and scheduling than past dates with Saturday’s acts leaning heavily on the electronic/hip-hop/DJ side while Sunday presents top tier indie-pop and rock acts. Sunday headliner Weezer hasn’t had a hit album in years but there’s no mistaking their catalog presents a raft (see what we did there?) of widely recognized tunes besides the ubiquitous “Buddy Holly” single most folks have heard on the radio or their favorite restaurant’s Pandora station. After playing a ton of SXSW dates in Austin last March the band returns to the area in support of their latest effort, Feels Like Summer. Fans can download or stream the new album directly from the Weezer website.
While there is no mistaking the acts booked for the festival skew towards a younger audience, Cage the Elephant deliver a fantastic live show for a band that has a single so popular it’s become a bit annoying. Add electro-psych rockers MGMT, Nashville’s red-hot Moon Taxi and a slate of Austin’s best independent artists and Sunday results in a formidable lineup for a relatively young music festival. Ume, Wild Child, Walker Lukens and Los Coast are some of the best bands from the Live Music Capital.
Pro-tip: Don’t miss 365 Things Austin favorite, Sweet Spirit who hit the Sun stage at 4:45 p.m.
The lineup Saturday pivots the opposite direction as the closing day. Wildly popular electronic artist and ACL Festival veteran Zedd headlines with Passion Pit, Mac Miller and Denton’s Neon Indian rounding out the top of the bill. If you arrive early on opening day, head to the Sun Stage at 3:15 p.m. for Heartbyrne, Austin’s lovable Talking Heads cover band.
While soaring temperatures are a concern (100 degree weather is expected), organizers have arranged for air-conditioned tents situated in both VIP and GA areas with additional tented seating and free water stations. Bring sunscreen, hats and water bottles along to ensure you’ll make it safely to the end of an extremely warm day.
View a detailed schedule and buy tickets at the official Float Fest website. Single day, camping and float packages are still available as of today.