How could Fortress Festival 2018 possibly top its raucous introduction to the Cultural District in 2017?
Festival founders Alec Jhangiani and Ramtin Nikzad put their cards are on the table Friday, when Fortress Fest announced its 2018 lineup. The two-day Millenial-in April 28-29 promises once again to check a diverse range of music-lovers' boxes, and also to address one of Fort-goers' primary gripes from last year.
Hipster folk shaman Father John Misty and Australian indie-rocker Courtney Barnett will headline The festival, but Fortress will have a little something for everyone, from ageless hip-hop wonders De La Soul, original Wu-Tang Clan member RZA featuring Stone Mecca, soul masters Lee Fields & the Expressions and the aptly-named for a North Texas festival, Waxahatchee.
If you're looking for clues on who might be playing when, here's the exact order in which the 2018 acts were revealed in an email from the Fortress Presents team:
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- Father John Misty
- Courtney Barnett
- De La Soul
- RZA, featuring Stone Mecca
- The Voidz
- Chicano Batman
- Shabazz Palaces
- Lee Fields & The Expressions
- Hurray for the Riff Raff
- Jay Som
- The Texas Gentlemen
- Ronnie Heart
- Cure For Paranoia
- Henry the Archer
- Andy Pickett
- Midnight Opera
- Pearl Earl
Go right ahead and speculate accordingly.
"True music creatives" are what Jhangiani and Nikzad went after, they said. This year's lineup is chock-full of singer-songwriter types and heavily peppered — on purpose — with acts fronted by women. Fortress Festival 2018 may not be as loud or as electronic as last year, but the acts selected are every bit as cutting-edge.
"In creating a lineup, your wish as a booker is that with the number of slots you have, you can offer a compelling variety of performances, but also cohesion, that the acts speak with each other and complement each other, and that you end up with something that's more than the sum of its parts," Jhangiani and Nikzad said via email. "We strongly believe we've landed at that."
Along with the lineup, the organizers said Fortress Fest in Year 2 will address "attendees' concerns from the inaugural year with regard to the distance and overall entry process between the main stages, and will announce soon a new, unified layout to alleviate these issues for audiences."
Those in attendance last year will remember taking a little bit of a hike to get from the stage in The Modern's side yard to the other main stage that occupied the lawn outside Will Rogers Memorial Center. If you had to pick nits with anything from the festival's first go-round, that meander was probably it. So, more on that to come.
Festival organizers said they sold about 50 percent more pre-sale tickets than last year, when more than 9,000 attended Fortress Fest, and now that the lineup is set, tickets are back on sale here. While they last, early-bird two-day VIP passes cost $225, and early-bird two-day general admission wristbands are $89.
When the early-bird passes are gone, those prices go up to $265 and $99.