The fallout from a new music festival had neighbors up all night and law enforcement busy non-stop over the weekend.
The Middlelands Festival, produced by Insomniac, was the first time the Texas Renaissance Festival has allowed someone else to use their space for a big event. The event drew 65,000-80,000 people from all over.
And of course with that came their dollars.
But between the noise and the narcotics, locals are leery about them coming back.
“These people were primarily from out of state. They range from California, New York and Pennsylvania. They were from all over,” said Kindale Pittman with the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office.
One person climbed into a tree to get a better view of the headline act. Festival organizers had to stop the show while police got him down.
He’s one of a few dozen people arrested.
“There was 42 arrests made for narcotics possession, ranging from ecstasy, LSD, cocaine and marijuana,” Pittman said. “There were a few arrests for public intoxication by the security within the festival.”
Pittman said when people bought their tickets, it gave automatic consent to have their property and their person searched. That’s when most of the arrests happened.
Drugs weren’t the only problem.
“I could tolerate Saturday. But Sunday was ridiculous,” said Dana Watson. “It would vibrate the house, the different bass notes and stuff.”
Watson lives about a mile away from the Texas Renaissance Festival grounds. She said the music was so loud Sunday that she could hear every lyric and sing along.
“Everybody that I spoke with had all called the police and it was going nowhere,” she said.
“You have 911 that’s being backed up. You have landlines being backed up,” added Pittman. “In an event there was an emergency somewhere in the county other than this event, we would hope our citizens could get in and get the assistance they need.”
The Texas Renaissance Festival’s general manager Terre Albert said, “Middlelands has the potential to be a fun – and safe – destination for locals and travelers, not to mention a huge economic boost for our community, and we look forward to working with local residents and business owners to make this a successful experience for all.”
“If they could keep to Saturday, I don’t have as much a problem with them coming back,” Watson said. “But if they want to redo Sunday every time, no.”
Below is the full statement from the Texas Renaissance Festival:
“TRF and the producers of Middlelands would like to express our gratitude to the residents of Todd Mission and the surrounding areas for supporting our Middlelands event. We were very happy with details like traffic flow, security, and health and wellness, but as is always the case for any new event, there are things we can learn from.
First on our list is having better community involvement from the start in the planning of the event. The producers of Middlelands value community as much as we do. Your feedback is appreciated, your voices will be heard, and we will take that into account as we diligently work to reevaluate various elements of the festival.
Middlelands has the potential to be a fun and safe destination for locals and travelers, not to mention a huge economic boost for our community, and we look forward to working with local residents and business owners to make this a successful experience for all.
To that end, TRF and the producers of Middlelands will be hosting a Town Hall event at the Magnolia City Hall next Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m. If you are speaking on behalf of a community group or HOA, please send just one representative. We look forward to hearing from you.”