5 Reasons CRSSD Fest Brought Dance Music Festivals To A New Level
CRSSD Festival took place for the first time in San Diego earlier this month, and the festival truly provided fans with a one-of-a-kind experience. In an ever-growing dance music festival landscape, CRSSD stood out for a variety of reasons.
CRSSD was held outdoors in San Diego—a city that arguably boasts the best weather in the United States. On top of that, CRSSD took place at San Diego Waterfront Park, which is situated right next to the San Diego Harbor. Throughout the festival, the cool ocean breeze wafted through the air, helping counteract the sun overhead. If you happened to get too hot, there were plenty of palm trees to help protect you from the sun. Oh, a cool ocean breeze coupled with palm trees didn’t cool you down enough? Well, there were massive spraying water fountains. That’s right—there were enormous water fountains for attendees to frolic through in case they needed to quickly cool off.
Also, the backdrop provided by the venue was simply beautiful. During the day, the sun bounced off of the stages, palm trees and passing boats in the harbor, making for surroundings that were utterly stunning. The grass made it so that any attendee could kick off their shoes and dance to their heart’s content. When the sun set each day and slowly crept beneath the ocean, the crowd was awestruck. Once the sun went down completely, San Diego’s skyscrapers illuminated the skyline, providing its own light show. From the time you stepped foot into the venue until you left at night, CRSSD was so damn aesthetically pleasing. You could not ask for a better venue for a music festival.
CRSSD did a fantastic job of bringing in some awesome food and drink options. Spicy Pie — Coachella’s most popular concession stand year after year — graced San Diego with its mouth-watering presence. Authentic lobster rolls were being served up by Cousins Maine Lobster. Several other local restaurants and food trucks cooked up their delicious specials as well, sending an amalgamation of wonderful aromas into the ocean air.
What really made me happy was the craft beer booth. Whoever chose the beer offerings at CRSSD knows their stuff. Beers from some of the top local breweries were on tap, including Alesmith, Alpine, Ballast Point, Mother Earth, Societe and Stone. If you’re a fan of IPAs , you would have been in heaven. Good beer and good food helped keep the attendees satisfied and beyond content whenever they had to step away from the stages for a few minutes to refuel.
Okay, enough about the amazing amenities of CRSSD. Let’s get to what matters most: The music. On Day 1, Jamie Jones and Lee Foss played a Hot Natured set with Anabel Englund performing live vocals. Lee Burridge, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), DJ Harvey, Amtrac and Kill Frenzy joined Pete Tong on the All Gone Pete Tong City Steps stage. At The Palms stage, Wax Motif, Treasure Fingers, Klangkarussell, Giraffage and Aeroplane all laid down some funky beats for everyone to groove to.
On Day 2, Patrick Topping showed why he dominated the Beatport Tech-House chart in 2014. He played early in the day, but a lot of people showed up to hear him thrown down an awesome set.
The rest of Day 2 was dominated by huge B2B sets. Bixel Boys went B2B with Viceroy, who wore a customized #FREELIFE jersey. Jamie Jones took the stage for his second set of the weekend—a B2B set with underground king Seth Troxler. Their song choice was on point, and their professionalism allowed them to fight through a few technical hiccups. Simian Mobile Disco took the stage with Roman Flugel for a superb B2B set. Their set served as a perfect appetizer to Maceo Plex’s festival-closing B2B set with Shall Ocin. With the San Diego skyline providing an excellent background, Maceo Plex and Shall Ocin ended the festival in a big way.
Unfortunately, there are no high-quality videos of the Maceo Plex and Shall Ocin set on YouTube. However, Mixmag did record all of the Jamie Jones B2B Seth Troxler set.
Lido doesn’t exactly fall into the typical “underground” music category, so he didn’t get a mention above. However, the fact that he pulled double duty as Lido and Trippy Turtle on the second day of the festival deserves its own section. He took The Palms stage early on Day 2 and blasted some bed squeaks on the speakers as Trippy Turtle. The Jersey Club tunes got the crowd hyped for the rest of Day 2.
Shortly after finishing the set, he took off his turtle costume and ventured over to the mainstage as Lido. He kicked the set off by telling everyone it wouldn’t be an “EDM set.” Instead of just pressing play on a computer, Lido played percussion and keys on stage. In short, the set was amazing. It was refreshing to finally witness a Lido set after he had performed all across the United States as Trippy Turtle.
CRSSD Festival ended at 11pm both days, which left the nights ripe for partying. The most popular party was the All Gone Pete Tong boat party the first night. The party took place on a cruise ship and included support from Thomas Jack and Dr. Fresch. On the land, Damian Lazarus played at Bang Bang — the best nightclub in San Diego.
Day 2 of CRSSD featured a slate of fantastic parties that were almost impossible to choose from. Troxler played at Spin Nightclub, Chromeo spun a DJ set at Fluxx, and Trippy Turtle and Carmada played at Bang Bang. I decided to go to Bang Bang, as Carmada had been unable to make it to CRSSD on time to play during their scheduled time. They did not disappoint. Carmada dropped their massive original tracks, and they whipped the crowd into a frenzy when they played the 2 Fast 2 Furious song "Tokyo Drift" by Teriyaki Boyz. Carmada finished their set with a Blink 182 song. It was an unexpectedly awesome way to end an unforgettable weekend.
Photo credit: Oliver Walker and Jose Negrete, courtesy of CRSSD Festival