Fortress Festival Looking to Build on First Year Success

Photo: Ismael Quintanilla

Putting on a music festival is no easy task, especially in North Texas. Festivals like Suburbia and Sound on Sound showed promise in year one but never were able to make year two happen, while others like Starfest and Bulladora were never even able to make it past the planning stages. So the fact that Fortress Festival has made it to year two is a major feat in itself.  The first year was far from flawless, however there definitely was potential for Fortress Fest to be one of the few successful North Texas festivals.  

This years' lineup holds true to the vision of founders Alec Jhangiani and Ramtin Nikzad  to be diverse as possible while still being focused. Day 1 will showcase hip-hop legends De La Sol and Rza while Day 2 is jam packed with local favorites like The Texas Gentlemen, Henry the Archer, and Vandoliers.  Headliners for Day 2 are nothing to scoff at either with the eccentric Father John Misty and Courtney Barnett.

We caught up with with Fortress Festival founders and North Texas natives Alec Jhangiani and Ramtin Nikzad to ask what festival goers can expect this year and their vision of the festival moving forward.

What new features can festival goers expect this year? What elements will be back for year two?

The entire layout will be unified and consolidated so there won’t be an issue walking between stages or exiting and re-entering. That’s the biggest change. Otherwise, we intend to preserve the integrity of the original experience that people loved so much.

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 10.33.57 AM.png

What are some lessons learned in year one that will help improve the festival experience in year two?

We learned that the walk between stages cause people to miss some of the performances that they wanted to see and that is something we knew we needed to fix. The new layout should resolve any of those issues we experienced last year while still allowing people to explore the galleries of the Modern Art Museum after hours with their festival pass.

What is your vision for the future of this festival?  Can you see this festival growing to a 3 day lineup or having to expand the festival grounds to accommodate more people?

We certainly can see it becoming a 3 day festival and are planning to grow to incorporate even more of the cultural district. Right now, the next steps for us are to improve the current experience as much as possible while looking to add more programming in relation to the Modern Art Museum in the near future.

Single-day GA and VIP passes are available now for purchase at, along with two-day pass options.

Austin James