CRSSD Fest yet again made us melt as the sun was set on another outstanding edition of the twice a year San Diego based music festival. Now in its third year, CRSSD Fest is quickly becoming the main attraction in Southern California. With a 21+ only audience, problems that arise at events with those under 21 are diminished. My only knock would be that since it is 21+, shouldn’t adults be able to smoke a cigarette if they can purchase an alcoholic drink as well? The two pretty much go hand in hand and we are at a music festival. To go along with a more mature crowd is a more mature offering of musical tastes and styles as well. “EDM” is not present here, rather Techno, House, Future and Bass as well as live acts reign supreme. The likes of Claude Von Stroke, Odesza, Cirez D, Loco Dice, Gesaffelstein, Tycho and Gorgon City topped the eclectic and diverse Spring bill and provided a proper kickoff to festival season yet again.
CRSSD Fest on Saturday brought some rain and a not terribly crowded atmosphere. The main entrance however would get jammed up and make for quite the headache of a waiting line for IDs and security checks towards the later part of the day. Upon entrance however was room to roam and frolic amongst the fountains. Ample beer and food offerings made things easy and filling. The venue looked gorgeous and although cloud cover and some rain made things a little wet, the warmth of the sun while it was out was refreshing. From stage to stage the bass thumped and the bodies hit the floor. As the echoes of the beats and the bass filled downtown San Diego, the landscape was as beautiful to the eye as it was the ear.
From the City Steps to the Palms and Ocean View, CRSSD Fest was consumed by the black clad industry folk wandered and commiserated amongst themselves to the Techno goodness of Jeremy Olander and the deepness of Lane 8. Poolside was remarkable yet again, as was Skream taking over the City Steps as the Sun went down over Waterfront Park. Ryan Hemsworth was somewhat of a letdown as it started to drizzle so did his set I felt. My main man Gesaffelstein nailed it as always and through the drizzle you could barely make out the mysterious Frenchman twisting and turning the beats in the night. Odesza capped it off in beautiful fashion and proved to be my favorite time witnessing their live show. From “Kusanagi” to “Say My Name” the feels and vibes were astronomical as they poured onto the streets and into the ocean.
Sunday saw far better weather all day long. The San Diego cityscape and proximity to the water made for an elixir of beats and waves amongst the lights and palm trees. CRSSD Fest was now in full swing and seemed like a bigger turnout than the day before, at least if you’re a DirtyBird.
Day two of CRSSD Fest we noticed right off the bat that everyone came prepared with proper DirtyBird attire in commemoration of all the chunky-house music we would be enjoying throughout the day. This was kicked off with Sasha Robotti and Will Clarke both pulling in the first big wave of festival attendees.
The main stage soon began flowing as 19-year-old Sam Gellaitry tore up the system with his delicate arrangement and banging trap beats. The Soulection representative did a great job at showcasing his tunes for a massive hour and a half set. Do not be surprised when this kid blows up as fast as Flume in the next few years.
The sun soon began to set over the beautiful sounds of Tycho on the main stage. We’ve seen his band at several amazing festivals but this by far took the cake. Nothing felt better than hearing his ambient soulful instrumentals line the horizon of the Pacific Ocean. If anything summarized the beauty of CRSSD Fest this weekend it had to have been this set.
There’s always that one-act that kicks you into venturing out to a music festival. For us this had to have been Loco Dice. His performance at last year’s Coachella was easily one of the darkest dirtiest tech-house sets we had ever witnessed. From starting at a B2B with Skream up until his audacious ending with psychedelic club-friendly hypnotism, the man hit us in every angle. CRSSD Fest taught us that if there’s one thing we needed in our lives it was another dose of Loco and his 2 hour performance was everything we could have wanted and more.
The night and CRSSD Fest finally closed out with a set from our lord and savior the Claude Father VonStroke with a phenomenal closing set at the Palms stage. His performance brought in a massive audience filled with only the best vibes you could find at a DirtyBird inspired festival. The last half hour of his set was amplified with the addition of Green Velvet. the surprise addition of Get Real created the ultimate festival closer and left everyone in awe.
As the sun set on the last day and CRSSD Fest came to an end, the start to festival season had begun. With their continued effort to book forward thinking acts and underground artists and styles is what separates them from the other mainstream festivals on the West Coast. The venue can’t be beat and it seems as though they have eliminated the problems other big events have experienced in Southern California in recent years. CRSSD Fest impressed yet again and showed that it has what it takes to maintain the numbers and growing size of the festival. Job well done and we’ll see you again later this year for the Fall edition.
Writing Assist by: Lotion Roulette Photo Credits: Felicia Garcia, Skyler Greene, Glen Silva, Gabe Tiano