Fans of The Fader’s annual Fader Fort at SXSW are used to the publication’s heavily curated sets that boast mainstream appeal and the biggest stage in Austin. A slot on the Fader Fort stage is highly coveted and attending as a fan takes determination as lines can span across two city streets. This year was different, however, as The Fader traded in their massive block-long tent to a smaller outdoor space that put music and intimacy before popularity. Bringing together fans, artists and press, the new Fader Fort made rubbing elbows with music’s elite easy without sacrificing comfort.
Spanned across 4 days, Fader Fort didn’t disappoint. Their lineups left nothing to be desired as they catered to music lovers with live sounds of neo-soul, hip-hop and some alternative acts. From the smooth sounds of BJ the Chicago Kid, to closing out the week with a surprise appearance by Ma$e during a turned up 2 Chainz set, the crowd loved every minute.
While mainstream acts dominated the sunsets, each lineup at Fader Fort left room for new fans to be made with their stage openers. It was apparent that this year, Fader was heavily focused on celebrating the rise of emerging artists as they offered newcomers a chance to bless their iconic stage. Rising acts including the “Anita” rapper Smino, Jacob Banks and NoName were a few newcomers to win over the crowd while New York’s own Young M.A. and Cardi B reflected on how far they’ve come since last year.
Fader Fort’s new found show was seamless. With a smaller stage and a space cultivated for content obsessed consumers that love lyricism as much as they do a party, Fader Fort will continue to be a SXSW favorite for years to come.