Middlelands will not return to Texas Renaissance Fest

If you were lucky enough to experience the inaugural Middlelands festival at the Texas Renaissance Fest in Todd Mission, Tex., we’ve got bad news. On Friday, the festival ruled it would not host a second edition of the festival next year.

A town hall meeting was scheduled to be held Thursday but was cancelled, but that didn’t silent the anger from locals in the area who flooded Facebook with negative posts about the noise and concern that the festival was bringing a terrible drug culture to their town. A total of about 90,000 people ascended on the festival over the course of the first weekend of May for the festival.

“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,” Texas Renaissance Festival general manager Terre Albert wrote in a statement.

“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 have made the decision to not move forward in hosting the event again.”

“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,” Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella said in a statement.

“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.”

I attended the fest — and though the electronic music scene is not my exact wheelhouse, I had a blast. Insomniac and C3 brought their top-level production to the festival, including two stages among the best I’ve ever seen. That the Texas RenFest’s infrastructure was built in, with RenFest workers and shop owners sharing in the experience with festival goers.


I stayed at one of the Soundcamps, the one thrown by the New Orleans-based Dohm Collective, and seeing firsthand the kind of positivity the camps spread, I’m saddened that the TRF won’t be bringing back Middlelands next year. However, Insomniac is determined to press on with the idea, though no situation will be as perfect as the grounds of the TRF.

All in all, there were only little more than 60 arrests, mostly related to drugs, during the entire weekend.