Permit denied for Float Fest, San Marcos’ annual music, tubing event

Float Fest organizers try for permit_313085

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court voted Thursday morning to deny a permit for the annual Float Fest music festival.

The music event was scheduled to be held July 19-21 at the Cool River Ranch in Martindale and was expected to attract up to 25,000 attendees each day. During the special meeting, commissioners listed various reasons for the rejection, including: congestion of the area, possible emergency medical complications for San Marcos residents, lack of infrastructure capabilities and noise complaints (which include complaints of music containing profanity).

According to a release from Angelou Economics, the firm who completed an economic impact study on the 2018 Float Fest, the event generated an estimated $12.3 million for San Marcos and the surrounding region. Additionally, attendees booked an estimated 46 percent of hotel rooms in the city during the festival. 

The festival also created about 119 full-time job equivalents and paid over an estimated $4.2 million to those employees, the report said. Despite these numbers and the profits for the area, the court denied the promoter’s application after a nearly three and a half hour meeting.

Last year, Float Fest’s permit was also denied, but the Guadalupe County Commissioners later voted to give it the green light after the organizer sued.

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