Beach House, Phantogram, EITS, Run the Jewels to play SOS Fest at Sherwood Forest Faire

Beach House performed in concert at ACL Live on April 11, 2016. (Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman)
Beach House performed in concert at ACL Live on April 11, 2016. (Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman)

Hark ye! What thunderous calamity ariseth from yonder hilltop?

Fret not, gentle peasantry, it’s just Sound on Sound Festival at Sherwood Forest Faire.

Dreamy indie faves Beach House, dance rock outfit Phantogram and Austin’s own cinematic post-rock kingpins Explosions in the Sky are set to headline the inaugural SOS Fest in a spot out by Elgin where Central Texas Renaissance Festival enthusiasts go to rock voluminously plumed hats and ruffled blouses and talk in bad British accents. SoS_lineup_1

Also making the journey 30 miles east of Austin (and 400 years back in time) for the fest are rappers Run the Jewels, Young Thug, Big Boi, Wale and Aesop Rock. Electronica duo Purity Ring, Australian rocker Courtney Barnett and ’90s rockers Guided by Voices will perform alongside seminal punk rockers the Descendants, the Dead Milkmen and supergroup FLAG. Bob Mould, Mac DeMarco, FIDLAR, Cursive, Denzel Curry, A-Trak and Charles Bradley are also on the bill.

And continuing a Shakespearean tale of unrequited passion and betrayal that dates back to 2013, thrash rap outfit Death Grips is (allegedly) bound for the forest.

» RELATED: Fun Fun Fun Fest decides to ‘consciously uncouple’ with Death Grips 

Local artists Magna Carda, Moving Panoramas, Anya, Night Drive, Hard Proof and American Sharks round out a bill that includes roughly 85 artists, making it similar in scope to Fun Fun Fun Fest.

The $169 tickets to the festival and $115 on-site camping passes are on sale now. (Service fees and shipping add roughly $30 to those prices.)

Carrying forward a vision honed in 10 years working on FFF Fest, Graham Williams and the Fun House crew aim to create a festival that’s more than “just a show with some stages.” 

There’s a castle. There’s a (expletive) jousting arena. It’s insane,” Williams said on Monday afternoon. “Getting to see Run the Jewels play in a place with a castle and a giant dragon and where you can throw rotten vegetables at people in stockades, that kind of thing.”

El-P, left, and Killer Mike of the rap duo Run the Jewels at SXSW 2015. Jay Janner/American-Statesman
El-P, left, and Killer Mike of the rap duo Run the Jewels at SXSW 2015. Jay Janner/American-Statesman

The move out to the country puts the new festival in stark contrast with Fun Fun Fun Fest, an event Williams built to be a city center festival, “something you can ride your bike to.

» RELATED: Fun Fun Fun Fest Founder Graham Williams launches new company; Future of FFF uncertain

There’s a lot of challenges being a city event, especially being one that books kind of edgy music that some folks don’t like,” he said. “There was always a lot of push back when we were doing things downtown — neighborhood associations, City Council people. A constant push back to make sure it never happened again. And every year we would win some fights to get to do it. … At some point there was a discussion of, “Are we fighting it just to fight it? Do we need to find a location that’s not in the middle of Downtown Austin?'”

With the move to the country we can expect later gate times and later nights with additional programming in the campground. “There’s a lot of magic that happens after sunset at a lot of festivals, and we’ve been sort of missing that (in Austin),” he said. 

Instead of having the standard festival layout in a field with tents, SOS will take advantage of the “old-timey booths” and buildings of the structured village at Sherwood Forest Faire. Festival vendors will set up in the property’s pubs, restaurants, shops and stages.

 » RELATED: Ten years of triple fun: An oral history of Fun Fun Fun Fest 

SOS Fest will keep the three music stage format, although organizers might depart from the color-coded genre delineation that Fun Fun Fun Fest employs. “The way it’s set up it might flow a little more,” Williams said. “You might watch a hip-hop group and then a punk band play after.”

Still to be announced is the lineup for the “Yellow stage” area which will house comedy, spoken word and panel discussions. The skate and BMX ramp and Anarchy Championship Wrestling will also have a presence at the new festival.

The festival crew is currently plotting more Medieval themed activities that will be announced over the next few weeks. (We’re pulling for Scottish country games, because surely this event should include tattooed dudes in kilts tossing cabers.)

Williams said he intends to book a downtown club component to the festival including a massive kick off party on Thursday night. The festival is also currently working on a transportation plan and they hope to have shuttles dropping off and picking up fest-goers at multiple Austin locations. In what seems like a lofty promise, Williams said “shuttles are going to be running every 10 minutes.”

Overall, Williams said the transition from working on a decade-old festival to booking a new event was surprisingly smooth. “I’ve got to give the credit to all the booking agents and bands I’ve worked with over the years,” he said. “There was just a lot of trust there.”

Trust is earned. Williams has a long track record as one of the most solid and innovative bookers in the state and right now he’s inspired. “It’s exciting doing something new and having a lot of freedom to do something fresh,” he said. “It’s fun. It’s fun again.”

In May, Fun Fun Fun Fest organizers said there would be an announcement about their 2016 event in June. On Tuesday, Transmission Events general manager Bobby Garza said he would have information about FFF 2016 later this week.    


Beach House

Explosions In The Sky


Run The Jewels

Purity Ring

Courtney Barnett

Big Boi


Death Grips

Young Thug


Mac Demarco

Guided By Voices



Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

Boys Noize



The Dead Milkmen

Youth Of Today


Jagwar Ma


Thee Oh Sees

Wild Nothing

Aesop Rock


Touché Amoré

Bob Mould

The Dillinger Escape Plan

Girls Against Boys



Empress Of

Car Seat Headrest

Shannon and the Clams







Diarrhea Planet

Alex G

The Range


Denzel Curry



Kero Kero Bonito

Good Riddance

Beach Slang

Old Man Gloom

Into It. Over It.

The Relationship (Feat. Brian Bell of Weezer)

Diet Cig

White Lung

Youth Code

Planes Mistaken For Stars

War On Women

Open Mike Eagle

American Sharks

Hard Proof



Calliope Musicals

Magna Carda

Night Drive

Moving Panoramas

Leopold and His Fiction



Piñata Protest



Die Young

Emily Wolfe


Us Weekly 

$99 early-bird tickets to Sound on Sound fest on sale Monday

Mike Wiebe of The Riverboat Gamblers crowdsurfs during their performance at the Black Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest at Auditorium Shores on Saturday, November 3, 2012. (Tina Phan/American-Statesman)
Mike Wiebe of The Riverboat Gamblers crowdsurfs during their performance at the Black Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest at Auditorium Shores on Saturday, November 3, 2012. (Tina Phan/American-Statesman)

UPDATE: The early bird passes are now sold out. Festival organizers say they sold 1000 passes in roughly 90 minutes.


UPDATE: This morning, festival organizers declined to confirm whether or not Sound on Sound Fest is happening in Austin, but a note at the bottom of the event info email for ticket purchasers mentions camping: “Camping and RV passes DO NOT include admission to the festival. You must purchase a GA or VIP ticket in order to access the festival.”

Safe to assume this festival is not happening in the city center. The obvious site guess is Carson Creek Ranch, but a friend suggested J. Lorraine Ghost Town, an event space in Manor where Transmission has hosted events in the past. Pure speculation, but that would be amazing.


Sound on Sound Fest, the new festival from Fun Fun Fun Fest creator Graham Williams, announces its lineup and location Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., but if you’re ready to take the leap of faith, a “very limited” number of $99 three-day passes go on sale today (Monday) at 10 a.m. (Update: A reader notes that shipping, tax and fees add an extra $30 or so to the price.)

At this point it’s not clear whether or not the festival will be within the Austin city limits, but given Williams’ solid track record, we can assume the lineup will be worth your money. The festival will take place on November 4-6, the weekend when Fun Fun Fun Fest is traditionally scheduled.

» RELATED: Fun Fun Fun Fest founder Graham Williams launches new company; Future of FFF Fest uncertain

Earlier this month Fun Fun Fun Fest organizers had no update about the status of the popular downtown festival which was left in the lurch after both of its co-founders left the company last month.

When we asked Williams about his new fest last month he said it would be “almost exactly the same as” Fun Fun Fun Fest in lineup and character. Given that, it’s worth noting that Prophets of Rage, the supergroup featuring members of Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill, are coming to Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, but not Austin, before the tour wraps in late October.  Also worth noting that Phantogram only has one Texas date on their current tour, November 5 in Dallas.

FFF Fest Founder announces Sound on Sound Fest coming this fall

sos2_smFun Fun Fun Fest founder Graham Williams, who left Transmission Events and FFF Fest to start his own company, Margin Walker presents last month, has announced plans for a new festival Sound on Sound Fest. Location, lineup and tickets will be announced on June 28, but the event has set dates: Nov. 4-6.

Graham Williams of Transmission on Thursday October 29, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Graham Williams of Transmission on Thursday October 29, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Williams’ departure from Transmission left the fate of FFF Fest, a celebration of rowdy punk and metal, hip-hop and cutting edge alt-rock that has a cult following among music nerds and adventurous listeners of all stripes, up in the air. But Williams reassured fans of FFF’s eclectic vibe that he had something in the works, a new festival that would be very similar, “almost exactly the same as” Fun Fun Fun Fest.

 » RELATED: 10 years of triple fun: An oral history of FFF Fest

Like FFF Fest, the new event is named after a song by Austin’s late punk funk kingpins, the Big Boys and the festival dates are set for the same weekend when FFF Fest traditionally took place.

When the shakeup at Transmission, which also included the departure of company co-founder James Moody, was revealed last month, Bobby Garza, who remained with the company as general manager, said we could expect an announcement about Fun Fun Fun Fest this June. On Thursday morning, there was no update about the festival’s status.