CRSSD Festival at San Diego’s beautiful Waterfront Park took place this past weekend on March 5th and 6th. The venue itself was a modest in size, so props to FNGRS CRSSD for spanning the park with 3 stages – the Ocean View stage, the Palms stage, the City Steps stage. The Ocean View stage was your usual large main stage with the light set ups and large stage speakers. It had barricades at the front to prevent the fans from ambushing the DJ, and was located on an open space. The City Steps stage was a small, more intimate stage, with some covering. The Palms stage, the most unique design of the 3, was a smaller stage with palms covering the backdrop, stage, and the housing — very cool. It was a small-scale festival, but size doesn’t take away from the overall experience, unless it’s overcrowded, which thankfully CRSSD was not.
There’s nothing like the friendly folks of SD and out-of-town festival goers coming together by the beach and dancing into the sunset. Speaking of sunset, the organizers pin-pointed on the set times when the sunset would take place. What a simple detail, but when you realize you’ve made a great choice to get groovy to Ryan Hemsworth when the sun is indeed setting on the west coast with the Pacific Ocean right beside you, you’re living a California dream. There were fountains throughout the park, too, so it seemed like the entire surrounding was sparkling at that golden hour.
The lineup itself was incredible, so there’s no real complaints about the music and the performances by the artists. Though diverse, the artists were from various deep, chill genres of the realm of EDM, nothing that roused a crowd of headbangers. The sets ranged from live, DJ, B2B, and extended, which kept things interesting and exciting. Things got real with a surprise B2B with Dirty Bird king Claude Vonstroke and Green Velvet, otherwise known as GET REAL. Gorgon City played a DJ B2B with fellow Black Butter mate Kidnap Kid on the Palms stage, and performed a live set with their traveling vocalist Lulu James and others. San Francisco’s J.Phlip and Ardalan also played a phenomenal B2B set with their captivating basslines. FNGRS CRSSD also came in super clutch by filling Tale of Us’ last minute cancellation with Maceo Plex. A bunch of people were complaining about it on social media, but c’mon, they could have just extended the other artist’s set times marginally, but they brought on an exceptional substitute.
Another thing that was unique was that CRSSD was quite adamant on their website about that “rave attire” is prohibited. No judgment here, but it definitely was a different experience for a festival with a majority electronic acts. The common attire seemed to be that of a typical California summer, AKA something out of a PacSun catalog, but not quite Urban Outfitters. Girls in their crop tops, frayed high waisted shorts or floral skirts, and leather booties or strappy gladiators. Boys in their wayfarers, Hawaiian shirts, neon or pastel shorts, tube socks, and vans. OH! To the dude in the flamingo hat, day 2, you rule!
However, there are a few things about the production of CRSSD Festival that really showed that it’s got some years to mature. The production aspects for the smaller Palms and City Steps stages seemed okay. At the Ocean View stage, the set up of the LED lights with the FNGRS CRSSD logo above seemed really cool and original at first, but during the sets, the visuals seemed a bit lackluster. The Ocean View stage definitely needed some better sound engineering as well. The sound didn’t do justice for the artists’ sets that took place on that stage (again, the music itself was great). ODESZA is known not only for their music, but for their spectacular visuals, but between the not-so-impressive sound and lights system, their performance seemed a bit dull from the further into crowd. Perhaps the music wasn’t projected as loudly because the park itself isn’t too big, so the stages were pretty close in proximity. Whatever the reason, sound quality at a music festival should be good and should be projected to accommodate those hippies chillin’ on the lawn in the back.
The process of entering the festival was pretty inefficient. First of all, getting inside took way too long. Between checking your ID and ticket, giving you a wristband at the gate, and performing security checks, there needs to be a better system and/or more workers. You’re also required to physically keep your paper ticket for both days. At the entrance, someone will check your ticket and provide you with a wristband, a new one for each day. We all know the likelihood of losing a piece of paper during Day 1, so this didn’t seem like the best system.
Overall, CRSSD Festival was a very chill festival with great vibes. The setting was unparalleled. Everyone seemed to be super friendly and easy-to-approach. The CRSSD attendees were all there for one thing in common: the music. If you get there early to pass through the lines and stand closer to a speaker, you’ll surely have a wonderful time.
To learn more about CRSSD Festival or FNGRS CRSSD, visit: