Floatopia will be a whimper, not a bang in 2017 if the county has anything to do with it. Rain in the forecast aside, as well the preparations underway for Deltopia the weekend of April 8, Santa Barbara County will close Isla Vista beaches on Saturday and Sunday to prevent a repeat of the ad hoc party. All county law enforcement agencies have plans to support UCSB Police and Isla Vista Foot Patrol, and the CSO escort service, which provides safe walking for any student, has all hands on deck.
The monster float fest in 2009 left beaches strewn with trash, human waste, and wasted humans, and it raised the problem of responsibility for the garbage and hospital bills since the event was largely social media–driven. Since then the beaches have been closed when the float is announced, and UC Santa Barbara has increasingly stepped up alternative concerts and events.
This year, The Warm Up is a concert for students only at the university’s Thunderdome, and features RL Grime and Destructo, with more entertainment ongoing all over campus. Roller skating takes place at the Rec Cen along with food and music. Public service announcements cover Isla Vista, advising students to hold private parties, avoid the crumbling cliffs, keep strangers out, stay off the rooftops, and keep the town as tame as it has been the last two years.
The City of Goleta has issued parking passes for the neighborhoods bordering Isla Vista, and campus will ticket and tow if cars are found in parking lots that have been closed.