What started off as a strange newcomer in the music festival scene, ended with the recognition of being a highly respected organized event by all of its attendees. CRSSD Festival was the brainchild of San Diego native, Tyson Zieberth, and his partners, FNGRS CRSSD, who are responsible for putting on shows at Los Angeles' Sound Nightclub and SD's Bang Bang. As these venues are notorious for their solid shows, the curiosity for this new festival was strong and everyone could only marvel at the intensely impressive lineup of artists. Held on the first weekend of Spring Break (March 14th and 15th) a multitude of Trojans flocked to the Waterfront Park in Downtown San Diego and danced the weekend away to the sounds of artists like Hot Natured, Chromeo, Flight Facilities, Odesza, Lee Burridge, Anabel Englund, Danny Daze, Tensnake, Trippy Turtle, Jamie Jones, Kaytranada, Viceroy and even Trojans, Dr. Fresch and Matt Ossentjuk (just to name a few).
I was completely astounded at the organization and overall, good vibes of the event. The grounds were beautiful as they were adjacent to the San Diego harbor AND the city skyline and although the weather was hot, (hot, hot!) fans were able to cool themselves down by frolicking in the water fountains conveniently located inside the park. Purified water was free and in abundance for all attendees, which is a nice change from larger festivals where water is normally overpriced.
As the festival was 21 and over, the overbearing EDM rave vibes that is usually the norm were not present this time around. It was all about deep house and new disco for this mature audience and there were 3 stages that flaunted the live acts. Notable Sunday acts included Pleasure State, which consists of trio Lee Foss, MK and Anabel Englund, on The Palms stage and the energetic crowd crooned along to "Reverse Skydiving" (paying homage to Hot Natured) as Anabel sang "you don't have to jump to fly with me" and moved on to their original track, "Electricity." Over at the City Steps stage, I was impressed (as I always am) with Danny Daze's set and even more so with Maceo Plex, who is notorious for his dark, funky sounds. Being an avid Flight Facilities fan, I gallivanted to the Ocean View Live stage to see my favorite duo up front. The Australian pair did not disappoint as they, along with Owl Eyes, performed their popular hit "Crave You," more songs from their newest album, Down To Earth, and even did their own rendition of Major Lazer's "Get Free," much to the crowd's pleasure. I wrapped up my night with Justin Martin, who killed it as always, and then stopped by Canadian duo, Chromeo, to get my "Fancy Footwork" on for the night. Needless to say, I was one content, dancing bee when the fest finally came to a close.
As a frequent attendee of music festivals and as someone whose interest in attending them has since dwindled, I can happily say that CRSSD Fest restored my appreciation of music festivals. As I exited the Waterfront Park grounds, I heard a satisfied attendee say, "I'm definitely selling my Coachella ticket now. Nothing can top this weekend" and I could not have agreed more. Even though a festival's first attempt is usually not its best, I cannot foresee anything else topping the weekend. CRSSD Fest definitely made a name for itself and proved to the festival scene that it is much more than just the new kid on the block, it's an underground force to be reckoned with.