Float Fest 2018: What to expect

This Texas summer has been blazing hot. What’s a better way to cool off than to head to San Marcos and float the river? Oh, and also listen to some rad music while doing so? Float Fest 2018 is back on July 21 – 22, held at Cool River Ranch in San Marcos.

Float Fest is an annual festival filled with tubing, camping, and great live music! On each day there will be 10 acts performing, including Snoop Dogg, Modest Mouse, Lil Wayne and more! Check out the schedule below for the full lineup. Needless to say, it’s going to be LIT, fam.

Float Fest 2018
Float Fest 2018 Schedule

There will be plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Whether you’re tubing, enjoying the live tunes, or kicking back and relaxing with your friends on the campsite, it’s going to be a fun weekend! Here are a few things to keep in mind before heading to the fest this weekend.

Parking and Shuttles

We highly recommend you take advantage of the shuttle services that Float Fest is offering. You can buy your shuttle tickets here. If you’re going to brave the traffic, make sure you’ve already purchased your parking pass to ensure you have no issues when you arrive. Get one here.


Float Fest 2017
Photo credit: Pooneh Ghana/Float Fest

What’s Float Fest without floating? Make sure that, if you want to float, the pass you purchased includes floating. You can purchase floating passes here. Here’s some info to keep in mind for floating:

  • Tubing shuttles open at 8 AM and close at 5 PM.
  • Tubing shuttles to tubing drop off end at 5 PM (starting your tubing after 3 PM is not recommended, as the tubing trip is about 2.5-4 hours depending on river flow).
  • Tubing is first-come, first-serve.
  • Pick up your tubing wristband at the box office if you chose will call.
  • Tubing will be included on your RFID wristband if you had your wristband mailed to you. Just activate your wristband and when you arrive on site, head straight to the shuttle pick up tent.
  • Cooler Tubes will be available to rent at the box office for $20 each per trip or available in advance on the website. They will be available for purchase at the box office but it is HIGHLY recommended to buy them in advance.
  • You must have a tubing wristband to access tubing shuttles.
  • There are single-day and two-day tubing packages. Single-day comes with one tube rental and shuttle ride. Additional tube rental/shuttle rides are $20 each and will be available at the festival box office on the day of show. It is recommended to buy in advance because tubing usually sells out in advance.
  • There will be a large tent for shade at the tubing shuttle pick up. Gates for the concert open at 2 PM. You can bring your own tube, but the price of the tube wristband comes with a tube rental and there are no discounts for bringing your own tube.


Float Fest
Photo credit: Roger Ho/Float Fest

Camping over the weekend? Early camping load in begins on Friday, July 20, from 9 AM – 12 AM. Load in on Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23, will begin at 9 AM. Camping passes are included in all tickets but be aware – camping spots are first-come, first-serve. So get there early! Here are few more things to know:

  • Ranch gates and camping gates are closed every night one hour after the concert.
  • No entry or exit after gates are locked each night.
  • 24-hour security provided in campgrounds.
  • No hook ups / No electricity.
  • Bathrooms provided for campers – maps of campgrounds coming soon!
  • No campfires or outside fires allowed.
  • Camping parking is $30 for Friday-Monday and $20 for Saturday-Monday.
  • You can park your car at your campsite. You can pre-purchase your parking tickets with your concert tickets on the website HERE.
  • No fireworks allowed at the ranch. Violators will be asked to leave.
  • Showers will be available on site for $5 per shower per person. Tokens will be available to purchase at the box office.
  • Re-entry into campgrounds is allowed but you will have to go through the parking queue on your way back in every time you leave. Campgrounds map available on our maps page.

Keep the River Clean

Float Fest
Photo credit: Chad Wadsworth/Float Fest

One thing that’s really cool about Float Fest is the Keep The River Clean initiative. Float Fest partners with local businesses such as Don’s Fish CampTexas State Tubes, and The Eyes of the San Marcos River for efforts to keep the river clean during the fest.

There will be mesh biodegradable trash bags available for free with tubes for floating, River Wranglers on canoes to help take trash bags, and trash receptacles available after tubing at shuttle pick up stations. The Float Fest crew will be cleaning up the river before, during, and after the festival with divers and boats to ensure a safe and clean zone. Make sure to do your part to Keep the River clean throughout your stay during the festival!

Get a taste of what Float Fest 2018 will be by viewing a snippet of last year’s festivities in the video below. 

For more information visit festival will be held on Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22!

Featured image credit: Matt Lief Anderson/Float Fest

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