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FADER FORT Returns to Its SXSW Roots with a New Intimate Art Party Spot

Now in its 16th year, FADER FORT returns with four full days of musical performances from March 15 – 18. Since 2001, FADER FORT grew in popularity, expanding its footprint with massive crowds showing up to check out the artists and the FORT experience, following Twitter rumors of evening shows with suprise appearances, all of which contributed to the magic of SXSW.


This year they return to their roots in a “nod to The FADER’s inaugural showcase in 2001,” moving the festivities to a more intimate venue at 1209 East 6th Street (Volcom Garden) while still presenting a multi-use, indoor and outdoor environment to mashup music, the arts, drinks, lounging and playing.

The line up thus far includes Young M.A., Cardi B, the voracious Downtown Boys that always give it their all, Lizzo, Kap G, Dams of the West, and Bishop Briggs, with more annoucements expected as the March 15 draws near.


Last year Toyota, FADER’s exclusive automotive sponsor, had a series of cameras set up to capture 180 degree images of air-born participants, which turned out to be quite the popular activation. This year Toyota is back to not only bring the sponsorship dineros for the event while promoting their RAV4 to the young audience, but to walk the walk by donating $25,000 to MyMusicRx as part of the company’s #ToyotaGiving initiative. The charity MyMusicRx sees music as therapy, especially for young cancer patients, bringing sing-a-longs and mobile music carts to their bedside. Toyota and FADER FORT will co-host the 5th annual YOU WHO! Rock Show on Thursday, March 16, the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association.


“Toyota is passionate about supporting creative innovators and emerging artists in music and art, which is what THE FADER FORT represents,”” said Nancy Inouye, national media director, Toyota Motor Sales, in a statement. “”We look forward to delivering a creative and interactive experience featuring the RAV4 at this year’s festival for fans who are seeking new adventures.”” More camera tricks are up their sleeve this year with a RAV4 infinity mirror video booth for Sx fest goers to create their own video using the RAV4 backup camera and chances to pick up some swag.


Other sponsors include Budweiser (really wish it was Budweiser Budvar, the Czech Pilsener…wishful thinking), Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, vitaminwater, The North Face with an immersive audio/visual experience where artists will perform, and Dream Hotels who will host the backstage artist lounge pimped out with the hotel’s branded design and art elements from their properties in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.


The FADER is expanding their live streaming plans, which will continue to be hosted on, but in 2017 will capture off-stage experiences hosted by comedian Zack Fox. Each day remote viewers can tune in online to Fox taking them behind the scenes to check out exclusive artist-on-artist discussions and performances, as well as the on-stage shows. Daily VOD recaps will also be posted to with additional video content available via FADER’s Facebook Live and Instagram.


When it comes to the core of the FORT, each year there is always one stand-out artist that had some rumors stirring about, but who really broke wide after performing at SXSW and FADER FORT. In 2007 is was Amy Winehouse, and last year it was Anderson Paak, who had a stellar 2016.

“The FADER FORT always brings the mission of The FADER to life, showcasing the emerging artists we champion and the lifestyle that surrounds it,”” said Andy Cohn, President and Publisher of The FADER in a statement. “”With our new location this year, which offers the same incomparable spirit of authenticity and discovery of previous FADER FORTs, we’re able to give our longtime supporters unparalleled access to artists and creators, resembling the original, intimate feel of The FADER FORT that is almost impossible to find anywhere else.”


Having attended and covered many a FADER FORT over the years, seeing it grow to mass popularity with the SXSW-going folks with queues that went on for hours, I for one am super excited to check out the smaller affair.

Once again, The FADER FORT will be a guest list-only event, so no public RSVP, with invites received via email. Private invites will be nontransferable.


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