Anyone who has been to SXSW has probably seen it- a monstrous enclosure of tents and stages, and part of what looks like an old shed or warehouse in a large open promenade east of I-35 in East Austin. It’s the Fader Fort, sponsored by The Fader Magazine and Converse tennis shoes, and one of SXSW’s most desirable quasi-official events. Unfortunately, given the Fort’s unusual RSVP procedures, most SXSW attendees, even if they purchased an expensive platinum badge, never get to enter the fort. This year, the RSVP website for the Fort crashed early and often, and most who tried to RSVP were not able to. Worse, we found when we came to Austin that there is absolutely no way to enter the Fort on ANY of its days without having RSVP’d, even if you are a badge holder, or, in my case a mentor. I suppose the folks at Fader benefit from the exclusiveness and difficulty of getting the privilege of admission to the fort, but it likely angers and alienates those who don’t get in. And it’s hard to believe that conditions in the Fort are that much more crowded (given the Fort’s extremely large size) than the RedBull, Doritos or Viceland stages that I had no trouble getting into at all. I’m sure the people at Fader are cool, and love music, and I like Chuck Taylors shoes, but sadly, I can’t comment on what went on inside, because I wasn’t allowed inside. Surely, the Fader could come up with a fairer approach to the Fort, whether by restricting the first day’s RSVP’s to badge-holders, or requiring a separate RSVP for each day, or allowing something like 100 badge admissions per day without RSVP. This year marked the fifth year I didn’t get inside the Fader Fort. Will I ever get inside? And if I do, will it be a disappointment, or the most fun I’ve ever had?