4

Texas Renaissance Festival Declines to Invite Middlelands Back Next Year [UPDATED]

The castle is closed, EDM fans.
The castle is closed, EDM fans.
Photo by Jack Gorman
^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Beset by its neighbors' noise, traffic and other complaints (as predicted), the Texas Renaissance Festival has declined to invite the Middlelands electronic-music festival, which drew more than 60,000 fans to its grounds earlier this month, back next year. According to KHOU, the festival’s GM, Terre Albert, released the following statement earlier Friday:

TRF is always looking for new ways to bring fun and magic to the Houston area, which is why we partnered with Insomniac, C3 Events and Live Nation, to create the Middlelands music festival on our grounds. Middlelands was a great success and brought over 60,000 people to the area from all over the country and the world. However, after a meeting with executive leadership and based on Texas Renaissance Festival’s overall mission, we’ve have made the decision to not move forward in hosting the event again.


Wednesday, the City of Magnolia was scheduled to host a Town Hall meeting for residents of the community to air their grievances about the festival. That meeting was canceled but residents showed up anyway and refused to leave, KHOU reported. Representatives of Insomniac were supposed to attend the meeting but did not show up, the station added. Pasquale Rotella, the festival's founder, countered Friday on social media that he had flown to Houston, only to learn from TRF officials that the meeting had been canceled.

While those who attended Middlelands (including our reviewer) said overall the event ran remarkably smoothly, especially for a first-year festival, neighbors complained about nonstop loud music from Thursday night through Monday morning – loud enough that it shook the ground at her house, one said – public drug use and intoxication, and unresponsive law-enforcement officials.

“Ren Faire shuts off at a certain time. This was from 4 p.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Monday. You could physically feel the noise,” one resident, Charla Ward, told the Houston Press last week.

Later Friday, the Middlelands producers replied with a statement of their own:

We were very surprised and disappointed by the decision announced by the Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF) to no longer host Middlelands (MDL) at the Texas Renaissance Festival Fair Grounds. From the beginning, MDL producers set out to create a safe and enjoyable experience for both attendees and residents in the surrounding neighborhoods, with hopes to stimulate the growing local economy. Contrary to news reports, the producers of MDL traveled to Houston for the Town Hall meeting but were subsequently told it was cancelled by TRF officials. We fully appreciate the beauty of Todd Mission and the nearby areas, and were prepared to implement residents’ feedback in order to transform MDL into a valued community event. An astounding 66,000 guests attended the inaugural MDL festival, with many sharing their positive experiences. To our fans, rest assured we plan to return.


Pasquale Rotella, the festival's founder, elaborated further in the following Instagram post.

In other, happier RenFest-related news, adult tickets will be on sale for $10.95, 65 percent off the regular price, during its annual “Sale of the Century” from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow. Find tickets at this link.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.