Sound on Sound Fest is a hop, skip and a day away. The inaugural festival, the first from Fun Fun Fun’s founder, Graham Williams has even more fun in store for the mourners of the late FFF (may she rest in peace). Not to be brought down by the drama, SOS Fest upped the ante with the location set for Sherwood Forrest Faire. That’s right, they went medieval on the break up. Now lord and lady-lings can expect a destination festival that includes jousting and campgrounds, juggling, tarot card readings and a Dungeons & Dragons tournament, a pod cast, and a Kid’s Kingdom. Late Knights lineups back in Austin, shuttle service, food and bevs fit for kings, and a diverse lineup of kick ass music.
SOS Fest starts in Austin with a slew of Late Knight kickoff shows (free to badge holders) Thursday at venues around town. The main show happens Friday thru Sunday at Sherwood Forest. Back in Austin, Local Late Knights (free to all badge holders) programming is stacked with special guests.
You need them, duh. If you haven’t procured one, you should. Single-day ($85) and three-day ($169) passes are available for purchase online. Lovers of creature comforts should opt for the Treat Thy Self pass ($445) which grants you lord-like privileges such as priority queues and shuttle seating, fancy private bathrooms, reserved (close) viewing areas, a VIP lounge area and special surprises. Pick up wristbands at The Mohawk or festival grounds.
Camping: The festival adds a camping element which is fan-freaking-tastic news.
- Camping passes are $75 for the weekend. Bring your own set up, rent a tent with a cot ready to go (costs range from $550 to $810), or grab RV camping passes ($195).
- Check in begins at 8 a.m. Friday; check out is Monday by noon.
- No fires are allowed in the campgrounds (i.e. no grills, no campfires, no cooking that requires those the element of fire).
- Alcohol is not allowed in the campgrounds per TABC rules. There will be a bar to purchase alcohol on the campgrounds.
- Frank will have a 24-hour diner for campers.
- There are a limited number of showers available (pro-tip: bring a portable shower bag and put your cooler water in it).
Parking: Sherwood Forrest is approximately 40 miles from Austin. If you choose to drive, please make sure a DD is at the wheel. Ample parking is available and will cost $15 per day or $30 per weekend.
Shuttle: Shuttles will run on the half hour, every hour from noon thru 1:30 a.m., Friday through Sunday. Pick up is at The Mohawk (where a will call ticket office is also stationed) and drop off is on the festival grounds.
The diversity of music and the set up should be familiar to FFF Festers. The magic happens on four stages (Globe, Dragon’s Lair, Forest, and the Keep). SOS Fest continue’s the FFF tradition of booking acts spanning from rap and hip hop to metal and punk to indie rock and electronica to comedy and twerking queens. There is a wonderful grunge factor with FFF that we can expect to carry over into the soul of SOS. No horrid flower crowns, just flannel and random costumes – the way the world should be. Here is the Festival Schedule and here’s a list of my festival faves:
Explosions in the Sky: My all-time favorite Austin band. Don’t be alarmed (or surprised) if they bring you to tears; things happen during their incredible shows.
Small Black: A favorite from SXSW 2017 and past Fun Fun Fun festivals, this electro-indie pop group hails from Brooklyn and digs into synth in a less pop-y way.
Wild Nothing: A rare first for me, Wild Nothing is an indie rock meet dream-pop from Virgina. They have diverse albums, incorporating disco and soul with intricate arrangements and romantic nostalgia.
Jagwar Ma: The Australian psychedelic dance band toured with the xx and Tame Imapla (basically, that’s all you need to know). See you on the dance floor.
Empress Of: Empowered, emotive electro-pop singer Lorely Rodriguez oscillates between down tempo and danceable tunes.
Purity Ring: A longtime favorite is back in town. The indie rock vets joined together to create the smooth sounds of their electro pop outfit that draws increasingly on hip hop influences. Show up and get lost in the groove.
Phantogram: I’ve got 12 Phantogram shows under my belt, but for all practical purposes the electronic rock duo is a must see because Sarah Barthel is a skinny AF goddess and they have a new album.
Run The Jewels: I mean, they’re just so damn fun. The hip hop duo brings a politically charged party lightened by tracks from “Meow the Jewels.” Prepare to move a whole bunch.
Diarrhea Planet: Get over the unsavory name and the power punk pop band’s live show is stellar.
Calliope Musicals + Magna Carda: Two acclaimed Austin bands that never disappoint. The former is a theatrical psychedelic party folk that always brings the wiggles along with the Day-Glo. The latter is a hip hop group known for a “genre-defying blend of rap-meets-jazz-meets-R&B-
Car Seat Headrest: Another first, the eclectic “lo-fi” pop essence is intriguing.
Here is a Spotify playlist curated by yours truly.
Noms & Sips
Food trucks will be on site to satiate festers. Trucks range from famed Micklethwait Craft Meats and Burro Cheese Kitchen to vegan-friendly offerings like Arlo’s and Vegan Yacht to worldly fare from Shawarma Point and Cazamance. Frank will operate a 24-hour diner for campers and festers, perfect before a sweet treat from Skull & Cakeboxes. Thirst quenchers can be among offerings from Austin Eastciders, Dark Horse Wine, Karbach Brewing Company, Big Bend Brewing Co., Wunder-Pilz Kombucha, High Brew Coffee, Evergreen Chai and Juiceland.
See you at the forest, sirs and ladies.