There is a lack of stability when it comes to high profile, multi-genre music festivals in North Texas. Over the last few years, several festivals have tried to make it, without success. Suburbia in 2014 proved to be a one-and-done; the pug-themed festival Bulladora was rained out last year and after a good few years, Index Fest sold its name to an event focused on beer.
This weekend, Fortress Fest will be the latest to stake its claim.
On paper it looks like it can live up to its own hype. The festival is a partnership between Fortress Presents, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Margin Walker. Margin Walker, who is handling the booking, were behind Austin's now-defunct Fun Fun Fest and helm the new Sound on Sound Fest.
In January, we heard the headliners: Run The Jewels, the politically charged rap duo of Killer Mike and El-P, and Purity Ring, the Canadian electronic duo known for stunning installation-like stage setups. Fortress has released each day's lineup and schedule. The main difference between the two days is that Saturday places a heavier emphasis on hip-hop, with local openers Bobby Sessions, Sam Lao, Blue the Misfit and Cure for Paranoia paving the way for Run the Jewels' headlining performance. If you love hip-hop and can only afford to attend one day, that's the choice for you. Single-day passes start at $65.
Sunday highlights are New Order spin-off Peter Hook & The Light; emerging indie-rock band Whitney; and shoegaze legends Slowdive, who are preparing to release their first album since '95 on May 5. Purity Ring will close out the festival.
Fortress seems to have thought through every aspect of attendees' experience. Fortress is embracing Fort Worth’s culinary offerings, offering food on-site from Salsa Limon, Cannon Chinese Kitchen, Alchemy Pops and more. To ease the commute to Fort Worth, they're offering discounts through Lyft and Bus.com. The latter will be making trips from Dallas and Denton.
Fortress Fest is also taking advantage of its setting in the heart of Fort Worth's Cultural District to offer entertainment beyond the music. Ticket-holders well get free admission to the Modern Art Museum, the Kimball and the Cowgirl Museum. The music stages will be set up on the grounds of the Will Rogers Memorial Center and the reflecting pond at the Modern.
Fortress Fest, Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, Museum of Modern Art, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, $65 and up, fortressfestival.com.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, 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 Dallas with no paywalls.