CRSSD Festival is a biannual music festival for 21+ in San Diego, California. CRSSD Festival is put on by FNGERS CRSSD, an electronic music promoter that hosts events in San Diego, LA, and previously hosted pop-up events at Splash House and Coachella.
CRSSD Fest is a fairly new festival and had its debut on March 14th 2015. Since then they have featured artists such as Flume, Odesza, Empire of the Sun, Justin Martin, Thomas Jack, Zhu, Miike Snow, and Duke Dumont.
I went to my first CRSSD Fest on March 4th-5th 2017. The acts I was excited to see were Snakehips and Flume. I had heard these two artists both before at Outsidelands and Coachella respectively.
CRSSD Fest was held at the San Diego Waterfront Park. This venue was gorgeous and right next to the harbor. The venue was divided into three different stages: The Palms, City Steps, and Ocean View. The stages stretched out over the rectangular shaped venue with City Steps being the first stage as you enter the venue, then The Palms, and lastly at the opposite end of the park, the Ocean View stage.
As you enter the venue, the first stage you saw was City Steps. This stage faces audiences towards downtown San Diego, hence its name. The acts on City Steps were longer than that of the other two stages. I milled around this stage in the beginning of the day but did not really spend much time here.
The next stage was The Palms. It was decorated in foliage and hanging umbrellas with CRSSD’s logo on them. This stage was fairly crowded and more mainstream artists played this stage than City Steps. I spent a bit of my time here during the afternoons and it was a fun stage where I could easily dance with friends.
The main stage was Ocean View. This stage was by far the largest and had the biggest surrounding area to accommodate a vast amount of people. This was the only stage where artists had breaks in-between sets. But attendees, myself included, would wait during the set breaks to stake out a good spot for the upcoming act.
At night this stage was packed and featured the more mainstream and popular artists. There was real time video footage projected on the screens of the stage which zoomed in on the artist so that audience members in the back could still see the performers from a distance.
The lineup for the March 2017 CRSSD Festival included Justin Martin, AlunaGeorge, Duke Dumont, Snakehips, Marian Hill, and Flume. Originally I was excited for Snakehips and Flume. Their sets were great as I had expected. However, there were some artists who I really enjoyed who I had previously not known too much about. The standout for me on Saturday was AlunaGeorge. I had heard her song “You Know You Like It” but had not heard anything besides that. Her set had great stage graphics and her sound was amazing. Her performance that night definitely made me a fan of hers. Sunday night’s standout was Marian Hill. Similarly to AlunaGeorge, I only knew one of her songs, “Down.” However, her voice was so great live so she also peaked my interest to look into more of her work.
CRSSD Festival is very laid back and “San Diego” style. The festival discourages rave attire although a few attendees don some rave-like attire, most festival goers were wearing typical San Diego attire. Women wore: maxi dresses, rompers, crop tops, bralettes, bodysuits, skirts, swim suits, jeans, crisscross tops, leather jackets, etc. Men wore mainly t-shirts and jeans.
CRSSD Fest has craft beers, cocktails, and food from local vendors. While the options were pretty pricey, the food and drinks were delicous. The one thing CRSSD Fest can definitely improve on is the seating for the food and drink area. There was no where to sit and eat or drink. The only place to sit down was in two teepees which were not near the food or drink vendors. It was hard eating some of the food options such as lumpia and lobster mac and cheese without a table or somewhere to eat it without crowds of people rushing past you.
However overall, CRSSD Festival was one of my favorite music festivals that I have ever been to. It was not too crowded, had an efficient venue set up, had a decent variety of food and drink options, and most importantly had great music!