When Ronnie Brown, singer and songwriter for the Texas-based reggae-rock band Audic Empire, decided to blend his love of music with his enthusiasm for the San Marcos River, what emerged is the Come & Tube It 2021 Music Festival. It’s a one-of-a-kind, eco-conscious party on the river, with more than a dozen bands lined up for a day of floating on the river and “tons of reggae, rock, hip-hop, funk, and indie music.”

Acts like Cass Haley, Sunrise Police, and Reggae Lou and the Kind Budz are scheduled to perform alongside Audic Empire. And by teaming up with a popular local business, Brown has been able to piggyback his marketing efforts with his partners’ own outreach — making it a lot easier to get the word out to the right people. Come & Tube It 2021 is sure to be on any local’s list of the year’s best music festivals.

We spoke to Brown as part of our series on how innovative event creators are remaking summer festivals. Read on to see how he got his passion for music and the environment off the ground and into the river.

Inspiration and partnership

From the very beginning, Brown knew he wanted to do something for the environment and for his community. “We love music and we love the river, and we know other people do as well,” he says. The problem was that the San Marcos River had banned other floating music festivals in the past. Audic Empire would need to change that.

That’s why they partnered with Texas State Tubes, a company that offers premier tubing adventures on the San Marcos River. They decided to work together to build awareness of how to properly party and recycle on the river. Once Brown had an experienced tube operator on board, getting the proper permits became a lot easier.

As someone dedicated to cleaning up Texas riverways, Brown wanted to make sure the festival was eco-friendly. “Come & Tube It is a no-trace event, which means we don’t allow our festival-goers to bring cans, baggies, plastic, or glass on the river, and we give recycling bags to all floaters,” he promises. “We leave no trace that a festival ever took place.”

This focus on the environment extends to the festival’s partners. Brown made sure all vendors were eco-friendly, and event-goers will be able to find eco-friendly sunglasses, eating utensils, and CBD products on sale at the event.

Organization fuels success

Of course, for Brown, the idea and the eco-theme were only the beginning. When it came to attracting the right bands to his event, he found it helped to offer partial payment upfront.

With the performers in place, it was time to work out the logistics. Brown was responsible for organizing virtually everything: building a stage, hiring a lighting and sound company, ensuring compliance with noise ordinances and health codes, getting wristbands, securing vendors and food trucks, and hiring security, among other details. The easy ticketing and marketing tools on Eventbrite gave him the space to focus on organizing a great festival.

Thanks to help from the right people, everything became much more manageable. His advice to other creators looking to host their own innovative events is straightforward: “Focus on what you can do for the greater good of your community and find like-minded people who own businesses. Manifest positive changes and take every necessary step to make it a reality.”

Plan your own summer fun

For creators looking to break the mold as Brown did, it helps to first have a unique idea for the event. A unique setting can really help set your event apart. Finding a partner, such as a local business or other organization, makes it easier to market your event — especially if your vision lines up with your partner’s expertise (like Brown and the tubing company).

Feeling inspired? Use Eventbrite to jumpstart your music festival and get your community moving.

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