Anyone who’s been to the South by Southwest conference in the past 20 years knows the Fader Fort — the magazine’s showcase and party spot at the festival, which started as a party in an Austin hotel room with free beer provided by Levi’s in 2002, soon moved to a house, and then grew into a sprawling, custom-built two-acre miniature city loaded with bars, food, branding activations, multiple sponsors and of course, stages.
The Fort was like a living representation of the music, style and swagger featured in the magazine: Over the years, those stages hosted everyone from Drake to Amy Winehouse, from Kanye West to Sam Smith, from Erykah Badu to the Killers, to from Kendrick Lamar to Diddy to Lou Reed. We can remember one year where we saw an acoustic set from Swedish-Argentinian singer Jose Gonzales, went inside for a drink and some socializing, and by the time we came back Houston rapper Paul Wall was playing a set that was musically about as far removed as possible from Gonzales’.
On March 1, in the first release from the company’s new Fader Books imprint, comes “Fader Fort: Setting the Stage” — a 250-page hardcover retrospective featuring many previously unpublished photographs from across the years, spanning performances as well as backstage moments, and including a foreward from Albarn and Sean “Diddy” Combs. “It’s something that’s cultural,” Diddy says in his introduction. “You wanna be a part of it. You better be a part of it. It goes on your show bucket list. I did the Fader Fort.” (See a video trailer for the book below.)
“Fader Fort has been our platform to bring great Fader content to life and allow our audience to experience so many incredible artists for the first time,” says Fader cofounder Jon Cohen. “The Fader Fort has created many special moments across many genres in an intimate setting that has allowed artists to establish who they are unlike any festival in the country.”
(Below) Damon Albarn
Young Thug (left) with Future
Ty Dolla $ign