Fort Worth’s Cultural District will soon be home to a brand new festival that’s sure to become a North Texas tradition. Radio UTD is stoked to have a solid new fest in town, especially one that boasts such an impressive lineup. Here’s who to see at the first ever Fortress Festival.
Slowdive (Sunday, Will Rogers Stage @ 8pm)
British shoegaze idols Slowdive are just a month away from releasing their long-awaited fourth full-length album. The band reunited in 2014 after a nearly twenty year divide, only to play a handful of festivals and a sprinkling of North American tour dates. Unless you were one of the lucky ones who snagged a ticket to their Levitation make-up show at The Scoot Inn last year, this may be the first chance North Texas fans have had to see Slowdive since 1993. Two songs from the upcoming self-titled dream pop record have been released so far, and they do not disappoint. — Savannah Sherer
S U R V I V E (Saturday, Modern Stage @ 9pm)
Though only recently having breached the cultural consciousness with their score for Netflix hit Stranger Things, S U R V I V E have been producing quality ‘grave wave’ electronic for seven years now. Recent release RR7349 continues to build upon the band’s penchant for dark yet ethereal electronica, pitting laser-sharp synths against lurking bass bass lines. I can’t wait to see how this almost operatic production translates to a live experience – though the tracks can be slow to build, the payoff should have the crowd in thrall. Though I’ll be cheering along with everyone else when the Stranger Things theme plays, my real excitement stems from getting to hear an extensive back-catalog of top-notch electronic music finally reach festival-level awareness. — Benji Lunday
Flying Lotus (Saturday, Will Rogers Stage @ 8:30pm)
The Will Rogers stage is shaping up as the place to be on Saturday night as Flying Lotus, the nom de guerre of producer/rapper and filmmaker Steven Ellison, is set to hype up the crowd before Run The Jewels closes out the evening. FlyLo is an impressive grab for Fortress’ inaugural year and comes off the back of the release of Ellison’s debut feature Kuso – dubbed “the grossest movie ever made.” While that distinction is up for debate (I’m sure as hell not watching Kuso to confirm), what isn’t dubious are Ellison’s supreme music making talents. His eclectic abilities severe him well on highly conceptual albums like 2014’s You’re Dead! – a jazzy, hip-hop-tinged imagining of the post-death experience. But don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. FlyLo also has credits on Thundercat’s most recent album and even contributed a little ditty to the Star Wars Headspace compilation, so there’s plenty to draw from for what’s sure to be one of the most interesting sets of the day. — Jamie Park
Alvvays (Sunday, Modern Stage @ 7:30pm)
Quietly minding their own business, the Canadian quintet has been enjoying the success of their 2014 self-titled debut. They have had the pleasure of playing sold-out shows in LA and have been making their rounds at music festivals across the globe. Alvvays is a band for all of us young adults attempting to navigate our mid-life crises. The band’s music teeters on a tightrope between gleeful love and heartbreaking abandonment. It is with their lyricism that Alvvays sets themselves apart from droves of other indie pop bands that love 80’s beach culture. The Canadian indie pop band has not hinted at the release of any new music but shall return to Texas for the inaugural Fortress Festival (Sunday Night at the Modern Stage). As Texas temperatures continue the rise, Alvvays is the perfect band to chill out too on a busy Sunday evening. Who knows, you be lucky enough to catch some new music while you’re there. — Kevin Barahona
Run the Jewels (Saturday, Will Rogers Stage @ 10pm)
Run the Jewels is currently on tour supporting their newly released third album, Run the Jewels 3. This album was reported itself atop the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. A sound of hard rich hip-hop, that drops raving beats and critical acclaimed rhymes that is guaranteed to keep the crowd bouncing and bobbing along. Don’t miss out on how these two wordsmiths modernized old school Hip-Hop to fit this millennium era. The rap super-duo are the closing headliner April 29nd , giving Fortress Fest a hyped start. — Tammara Elkassih
Dengue Fever (Sunday, Will Rogers Stage @ 4pm)
It’s not everyday your encounter a Cambodian pop band that takes psychedelic surf rock to new heights. Dengue Fever’s take on world fusion is beautifully unique as it takes influence from Cambodian pop sounds of the 60s. Dengue Fever’s latest release, Cannibal Courtship, was released in April 2011.For music that’s perfect under the beaming sun, to positive critical acclaim. Dengue Fever is a fantastic gateway to what the world has to offer with gracious cultural exchange. — Tony Nguyen
Hip hop fans will love Saturday’s lineup, while those more interested in indie rock should make Sunday their priority. Radio UTD has two chances for you to snag some free passes to the fest: enter our giveaway before it ends on the 14th, or come to our Local Music Showcase on April 19th for one last chance to win. Don’t forget to use the discount code FortressUTD for 15% passes as long as you bring your Comet Card. See you out there!