My last day of SXSW and I found myself wanting to saviour each moment. Turning off my phone and walking downtown, it felt as though I was truly appreciating the small details for the first time. The pick up trucks, the way people smile as you walk past, the local family run sports bars, kids playing instruments on the streets.
The thought of returning to reality made me grateful for every second but sad that such a spontaneous adventure would soon come to an end. With temperatures hitting 32 degrees I did what any Brit would do, cancelled my planned sessions in the air-conditioned Convention Centre and headed for Fader Fort to sizzle in the sun.
Every year at SXSW, NYC-based music magazine The Fader throw a guest-list-only party, with invitations sent by email. This year the iconic Fader Fort moved to a new location on the East Side, taking over a French restaurant and their surrounding car park.
The Fader has been credited with bringing early performances of many breaking acts during SXSW. Everyone from The Black Keys, Florence and the Machine, Amy Winehouse, Drake, Sam Smith, and Cardi B have graced the Fader Fort stage in the early days of their careers.
This year SXSW made a conscious effort to return its focus to new music – with less superstars taking all the attention away from developing artists. The Fader Fort Stage also became a discovery platform. Buzz acts included Billie Eilish, Pale Waves, Soccer Mommy and SOB x RBE.
Of course it wouldn’t be Fader Fort without a huge headliner. Rae Sremmurd bring their bangers to Austin for a night to remember.
Words by Hayley Thompson // @hayleyyt_