CRSSD Fest has reinforced its status as San Diego’s premier dance music festival [Event Review]
Posted on 09 October 2016
The weekend of October 1-2 marked CRSSD Fest’s return to San Diego’s Waterfront Park for its second autumnal iteration, and fourth edition overall. The event’s momentum showed no sign of slowing as thousands flocked to the sold out affair for a weekend of finely-curated music from a diverse range of dance-driven artists including Miike Snow, ZHU, and more. Boosted by pleasant temperatures and wild afterparties, the weekend was an overwhelming success, driven by the pristine variety of music selection provided throughout its course.
Photo credit: Felicia Garcia
FNGRS CRSSD places high importance on the artists it books for its events, delving into the esoteric, underground pool of artists to formulate diverse rosters that magnify its appeal as a boutique festival that maintains a high consumer demand. This time around, however, the lineup felt rather safe, albeit excellent as always. A large portion of the festival’s bill were already CRSSD veterans, with some even making a third appearance – this left some longtime attendees feeling nostalgic for times when each edition felt considerably different than the last.
That isn’t to say that the music experience was dull in any way, however. Those making their return to the festival ensured the opposite was true. The Lees for example – Burridge and Foss that is – conquered their sunset performances. Foss brought smooth, beach-appropriate tech house vibes to City Steps on Saturday, while Burridge ushered in the twilight on Sunday with hypnotic melodies. Cashmere Cat shook the Ocean View stage with heavy bass and glimmering visuals. Lido catered to his crowd with exciting live elements paired with his unique brand of music and reemerged the next day to provide an energized, eclectic array of selections as his alter-ego, Trippy Turtle.
Photo credit: Skyler Greene
New names to CRSSD provided excellent sets as well. Miike Snow closed out Ocean View with a seamless mix of new singles and classic tunes which ended Saturday night on a gleeful note. Dubfire’s live set provided a futuristic, dark tone that served as a memorable ending to the festival, while Matrixxman also contributed sinister techno to City Steps on Saturday that primed the stage for night time. Felix Da Housecat’s festival debut, by contrast, was as breezy as ever, filled with grooving house which spread blithe sensations throughout the smiling crowd. Destructo & Busy P ruled The Palms on Sunday evening, further diversifying the event’s music selection with flavors of heavy French house & tech and electronica.
CRSSD began its expansion past the boundaries of a typical music festival for their newest edition, introducing a brand new tech tent onto its grounds. Guests were invited to try the latest in DJing and sound equipment, such as the new SubPac portable subwoofer, V-moda headphone models, and brand new Roland/Serato decks. While the tech tent was small in size to start, it was intriguing nonetheless and highlighted CRSSD’s continued growth potential as an event – we’re likely to see the tech tent, and perhaps more extracurricular tents added to the experience for its Spring 2017 installment.
Photo credit: Skyler Greene
FNGRS CRSSD still have a couple minor improvements on their hands for the festival as a whole. Sound planning seems to be the event’s biggest hurdle to overcome still, an understandably difficult conundrum given the venue size. Volume was cut drastically at various points on both evenings at both The Palms and City Steps stages, catalyzing the unfortunate situation of guests having to crowd near the stage like sardines just to hear mediocre EQ-ing at best.
Another area where CRSSD has room for improvement is in its scheduling times. DJs with starkly different musical stylings, such as Matrixxman and Bonobo, were consistently slotted next to one another on each stage. Putting more thought into scheduling artists based upon what time of day will be most conducive to each artist’s style would optimize the fluidity of the festival as it transitions from day to night.
Photo credit: Miranda McDonald
Slight pitfalls aside, the fourth CRSSD Fest nonetheless provided fans with yet another phenomenal weekend of picturesque views, pleasant weather, and cutting edge talent. The caliber of artists performing at the event remains unparalleled for the city of San Diego. If legions of content attendees expressing praise indicate anything, it’s that the festival has officially woven itself into the city’s electronic scene as one of its most integral parts.
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