7 Ways We Kept Cool in the Texas Heat During Float Fest 2018Article by: Brittany NO FOMO
Tue July 24, 2018 | 09:20 AM
There are two things synonymous with Texas: music and hot weather. So it was no surprise that this past weekend, the Martindale, Texas's Cool River Ranch offered an extreme of both at Float Fest. Just under an hour drive from Austin, the event boasts a clever way to beat the heat: by tubing down a river during the day (cold beverage in hand, of course) paired with two stages' worth of today's hottest musical talent for twelve hours straight. After announcing that the festival, which is now in its fifth year, would double its attendance (from 10,000 in 2017 to 20,000 in 2018), the organizers and festival-goers did everything they could to keep cool in 105 degree Fahrenheit heat. Here are all the ways we saw Float Fest-ers keeping cool during the festival weekend, hot temps be damned.
Tubing Down the San Marcos River
There’s no way to survive the wrath of the Texan sun in summer without being submerged in water. After a quick shuttle ride from the festival site, festival squads slowly cruised down the waterways in rented tubes or flashy personal floats. Float Fest participants are not new to the floating game; many came prepared hauling coolers from their campsites to the riverside in preparation for the three-hour float ahead. For those who didn't want to float so long, wading in the water at the end of the river ride in order to keep near the festival grounds was the perfect way to still be in live music mode while enjoying the natural surroundings.
Another beautiful aspect of Austin's culture is that they love supporting local everything, especially when it comes to booze. You couldn’t walk a foot without seeing a happy face holding a Deep Eddy cup or an Austin Beerworks can, both known for being local day-drinking favorites. Given the rising temperatures, some raised their eyebrows at the early imbibers, but we were nevertheless impressed that these music lovers could keep it together for that long.
What a relief – a festival without the pretentiousness! Many Float Fest-ers rocked bathing suits from the river to the festival grounds in an easy transition from day to night. The fact that plain t-shirts and bikinis were both appropos "festival looks" made this event truly all about simply enjoying the music.
Nothing says “cool” better than a Texas sunset. Once you see it, everything else feels worth it. Golden hour in the South is just what we all needed to wipe away the memories of the day and reboot our systems. Oh, this is why we chose to see music outside!
All-Encompassing Musical Moments
The festival ground went from sparsely populated to slightly scary during Lil Wayne’s set. Perfectly paired with sunset, the crowd was ready to get rowdy on Saturday night. His set was seemingly perfectly synced to the exact moment everyone had finally re-hydrated from a day spent drinking in the sun, and no one was holding back.
Another highlight of the weekend was Bassnectar’s signature sonic attack and incredible lightshow, which not only energized but united the audience in a boost of energy everyone needed after such a depleting day. A Giant Dog poured their hearts (and sweat) on to the Sun Stage on Day Two, making us all feel like anything is possible. If Sabrina Ellis can get down in the heat, so can I! Thankfully, we all got to sway in coolness of Tame Impala on the Water Stage to end our weekend, tucked under lasers and fireworks.
At night, the amusement park ride seats were no longer sizzling – the perfect time to jump on with some friends and feel a breeze (finally!) in your hair. The neon signs twinkled in the pink-hued sky. These carnival rides were the final touch the festival grounds needed for some character and variety.
Ultimately, what was worth the line to get in, hike to the river, and losing ten pounds in sweat, was all the locals’ friendly faces. In true Southern fashion, every music fan didn’t let the humidity dampen their spirits. And that was the biggest takeaway this weekend. We’re all in this together, so stay hydrated and have a good time, y’all. Float Fest-ers… if we can beat the heat, we can do anything!