Commissioners Court hears Float Fest presentation


Float Fest founder Marcus Federman pitched his three-day July music festival Monday, April 15 to the Gonzales County Commissioner’s Court. Federman is seeking the county’s approval to host his event at a Gonzales County property after the permit for its previous Guadalupe County site was denied.

Commissioners had the opportunity to ask Federman questions about the festival following his brief presentation. One commissioner asked about the evacuation protocol in the event of a rain storm.

Federman said he chose the festival’s weekend because of historically low chance of rainfall during that time. He also cited a robust communication system that could alert festival patrons in the event of an emergency and onsite deployable roads that could cover any flood-prone areas.

According to Federman, another resource in Float Fest’s arsenal is a “very, very precise” weather monitoring service.

“If it actually comes, weather monitoring gives us that amount of notice to where we can start preparing before it gets there.” Federman said.

Gonzales County Judge Pat Davis asked Federman how added expenses to taxpayers would be handled and Federman said he would pay for “anything that comes about from a taxpayer perspective.” Federman said that included road damage, additional staff for the sheriff’s department and any other additional expenses.

Despite a study by Angelou Economics claiming the 2018 festival brought in $12.3 million in economic impact to the San Marcos and Martindale areas, the Guadalupe County Commissioners Court voted 3-2 in January to deny the permit citing river pollution, safety and traffic as the main reasons. On April 11, 25th Judicial District Judge William D. Old III affirmed the Guadalupe Commissioners Court’s decision, which effectively ended the festival’s tenure at Cool River Ranch and perhaps in Guadalupe County as a whole.

This is not the first time Federman has dealt with a Gonzales government entity. In March, Gonzales city council struck down a proposal to have Float Fest at J.B. Wells Park. The council cited an ongoing lawsuit involving the park as the primary reason for rejection.

There will be a hearing regarding Float Fest’s mass gathering permit at 9 a.m. Tuesday April 23 at the Gonzales County Courthouse, 414 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, Texas 78629.

Other news from the meeting:

  • Two proclamations were approved: April was proclaimed to be both Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in Gonzales County.
  • The Court approved the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office’s request to create an opening for a new full-time dispatcher position. To create the opening, part-time positions will be eliminated. Sheriff Matthew Atkinson cited the office being “tight on overtime” as the prevailing reason for their push for the new opening.
  • The Court approved closing a portion of County Road 111.