Photography by Manuel Frayre
Fortress Festival celebrated a successful second annual event this past weekend, April 28 and 29 in the Cultural District of Fort Worth, Texas. Year 2 of the fest featured a spectacular celebration of music and art, offering patrons some of the best food, drinks and vendors from across the DFW area, along with national and local music performers, which resulted in almost 10,000 attendees throughout the two-day weekend.
Taking place in Fort Worth’s internationally renowned Cultural District, the second annual Fortress Festival offered music-lovers a wide-ranging music lineup that featured critically acclaimed headliners alongside some of today’s hottest up-and-coming music acts, as well as a variety of local DFW artists and boundary-testing musical pioneers. In total, the second annual festival provided a highly curated and eclectic music lineup that placed a strong emphasis on female-led groups, in addition to award-winning singer-songwriters, 90’s hip-hop legends, acclaimed funk and soul groups, the most in-demand local DFW talent, and so more much.
The CG Northern Stage hosted 2018 headliner and acclaimed electro-funk duo Chromeo on Saturday night, who performed a variety of hits spanning the duo’s lengthy career ahead of the release of their highly anticipated fifth studio album coming this June; as well as De la Soul; RZA, who performed alongside R&B/funk producer Stone Mecca and his multi-piece band; Chicano Batman; Rapsody and more. On Day 2 of the festival, the CG Northern Stage featured headliner Father John Misty, who provided attendees with his signature sarcastic sermon of cultural commentary along with several brand-new songs off his upcoming album, God’s Favorite Customer; in addition to Courtney Barnett; tUnE-yArDs; Lee Fields & The Expressions and Ronnie Heart.
Meanwhile, the Wildcatters Network Stage on Saturday was headlined by experimental punk rockers, The Voidz, led by Julian Casablancas of The Strokes; with additional performances from Shabazz Palaces; Hurray for the Riff Raff; Waxahatchee; Jay Som and Bedouine. On Sunday, Texas-Americana collective The Texas Gentleman; as well as a mix of local talent like The Vandoliers; Henry the Archer; Andy Pickett; Pearl Earl and Midnight Opera helped to close out Day 2 on the Wildcatters Network Stage.
After only two years, Fortress Festival has, among other praise, been called a “Can’t miss music festival” by Harper’s Bazaar, an “arbiter of taste” by Texas Monthly, a “defiant outpost for Black music” by The Daily Dot, a “model for what urban festivals can achieve” by Fort Worth Weekly, “one of the best experiences to be had in the North Texas Market” by Central Track and “like nothing else in the DFW area” by Free Press Houston. The Fortress Fest Family already announced they were coming back for 2019 so make sure to keep an eye on those early bird tickets.