Music fest floated to council Thursday


The Guadalupe River could get a lot more exciting this summer if a major music festival is granted permission to set up shop here. A workshop is scheduled for Thursday so that Gonzales city council members can get a full report on planning before action is made.

The event is dubbed Float Fest and has resided its whole existence, since 2014, at the Cool River Ranch near Martindale on the San Marcos River. What started as a one-day event has become a weekend destination festival that provides overnight camping with a fusion of floating the river on inner tubes and live musical performances throughout the day and into the night. The 2018 fest showcased acts like Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Run the Jewels, Modest Mouse, The Toadies, and Tame Impala. The tunes tend to trend toward the rap, hip-hop, electronic, and alternative rock spectrum.

Past years have also seen sets by Weezer, Big Gigantic, Ghostland Observatory, Bun B, Rick Ross and Slim Thug.

If greenlit, the festival would occupy parts of J.B. Wells Park and Independence Park on July 20-21. The move from the Martindale area comes after county commissioners in Guadalupe County — where Cool River Ranch is located — denied necessary permits for the festival to be held there in 2019 with an anticipated crowd of 25,000 people. Past complaints from neighbors regarding loud music was one of the issues cited as the officials' deciding factor, along with traffic contingency plans. Event promoter Marcus Federman touted a study that showed a regional economic impact of $12.3 million the previous year, but that was not enough to convince commissioners for another go.

The workshop will present information regarding plans for site, traffic and transportation, emergency, tubing, sanitations, parking, camping, river impact and trash collection, and wildlife impact mitigation. It will also be a time for residents to give their input regarding the event.

Council will also be asked to do purchase a brush truck/tender for the Gonzales Fire Department. The department has snagged a government grant in the amount of $200,000 toward a new truck, which is a 90 percent matching grant. To make it work, the department would sell an older model truck to another department for approximately $50,000, which will leave the city on the hook for only $15,000 of the original price.

In other business, council will:

  • Create a license agreement with Gonzales Little League for use of the city baseball fields with a fee of $5 per player to help cover maintenance;
  • Set appointment and pay rate of an election judge for the May 4 city general and special election;
  • Consider the use of Confederate Square and the sale of alcoholic beverages there for the Come and Taste It Craft Beer Event on April 26-27;
  • Look to create a Zoning Ordinance Review Committee;
  • Discuss the tree trimming ordinance.