Fort Worth’s Fortress Festival launched three years ago with a rough start.
There was an incoherent lineup of acts which, while great individually, didn’t necessarily make sense together. It appeared there was a bit of an identity problem. But this year, the music festival seems to be finding itself.
The family-friendly event runs Saturday and Sunday at Will Rogers Memorial Center, and children under 10 are admitted for
Local superstar Leon Bridges is Sunday’s headliner. His performance will mark the first time the Fort Worth native performs in front of a major audience in his hometown. He will be performing songs from his latest album, “Good Thing,” which was released in May 2018.
Additional artists at the two-day event include CHVRCHES, Rae Sremmurd and other national and local level performers. General admission tickets are $79 for a one day pass, $119 for a two-day pass.
Fortress Festival is staged by productions and promotions company Fortress Presents. Founders Alec Jhangiani and Ramtin Nikzad were both formerly aligned with the Lone Star Film Festival and Lone Star Film Society.
Fortress Festival joined the ranks of established Fort Worth festivals including Untapped, the Ranch Bash and Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival.
Jhangiani and Nikzad said the wide variety in the lineup is very much intentional, but it’s taken some practice to get right.
“I think it’s just as much as we’re looking to have a varied lineup, there does need to be cohesion. There’s a balancing act. We’re looking at a spectrum of people who could be interested in an event like this. It’s a difficult thing to really define as far as dogma,” Nikzad said.
Another change is that the festival has been consolidated to the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The Modern Art Museum remains a partner of Fortress Festival and will be open late for the enjoyment of concert-goers.
In order to make that possible, they have increased their number of employees and introduced student ambassadors to the Fortress team.
TCU student Chloe Stanford was messaged on Instagram asking if she was interested in becoming a college ambassador for Fortress Festival. Even though she did not know much about it, she spontaneously said yes.
“Basically I’m supposed to promote the festival on social media or any other way I can,” Stanford said.
She was also given a discount code to send out to students and teachers for 15 percent off their ticket price. They can use her code “
Other new discount options include early bird tickets and blind presale, both of which are sold
These tickets are up to $50 off the original price.
“These prices are a lot less then I would expect for a music festival. Normally I spend $300-$400 for a two-day festival weekend,” Payton Mullen, a junior at TCU, said.
Mullen tells us that she is excited
“Normally my friends and I have to drive to Dallas or Austin to enjoy a concert. It is so much nicer being able to attend one down the street from where we live,” Mullen said.
Fortress Festival takes a unique approach to create a family-friendly environment. Children 10 and under are admitted for free.
Children are welcome to the festival, and they are currently working on creating spaces within the grounds customized for kids and families that hope to be seen in 2020.
However, the festival encourages parents to take a look at the acts performing in advance before making the decision to bring their children.
Fortress Festival has been called “one of the best experiences to be had in the North Texas market” by Central Track magazine and “like nothing else in the DFW area” by Free Press Houston.