Float Fest set for 2022 return in Gonzales


After three years off, organizers of Float Fest say the festival will officially return in 2022 to its new location in Gonzales on July 23-24 — bringing with it about 25,000 people to the area for that weekend.

“We're so excited to be back in 2022! Float Fest 2022 will take our event to the next level. Our lineup will be our best yet, and we have worked endlessly to create a premier fan experience in every aspect of our festival,” said Marcus Federman, founder of Float Fest, in a press release on Dec. 15.

“Since Gonzales is known as the birthplace of Texas Independence, moving the festival here gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate our roots as the first Texas music festival centered around floating the river and camping — true Texas traditions. See you next summer!”

The event will be staged at a 765-acre private ranch off U.S. 183, south of the city limits, in a venue organizers say is three times the size of their previous venue — the Cool River Ranch Toob Rental and Amphitheatre in San Marcos — which should allow for “more camping options, floating accessibility, additional parking, and enhanced spaces for fans to enjoy the full Texas experience.”

The festival is expected to feature more than 25 bands on two stages in a pecan grove with more than 450 acres of trees which will create “natural shade canopies” over the larger camping sites. Festival goers also will have immediate on-site access to nearly two miles of the Guadalupe River for private floating on the river daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Guests also have the opportunity to arrive as early as Friday, July 22, for camping, floating the river and more, organizers said, noting as many as 25,000 people could attend the festival.

There will be food and beverage and general merchandise vendors on site at the ranch, but organizers also pointed out they expect the festival will generate commerce for the grocery stores, retailers, hotels and restaurants in Gonzales and other communities as well. Float Fest will also offer a shuttle service to attendees from both Austin and San Antonio.

Ticket and artist lineup will be announced soon on the festival website at floatfest.net.

Float Fest began as a summer music festival in 2014 and the last festival, held in 2018, was even featured in Spin magazine. It has welcomed a number of national artists, including Weezer, Tame Impala, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Cage The Elephant, and more.

The festival also organizes a river cleanup project, Keep the River Clean, which includes cleaning up the river before, during, and after the festival with divers and boats to ensure a safe and clean zone.

In 2019, Guadalupe County commissioners voted to deny the festival a permit to continue and Federman announced Float Fest would move to a new location in Gonzales County. However, they were unable to get the site ready in time to hold a 2019 festival. COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events.