Written by Stephanie Rosa
Sitting on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and in the beautiful city of San Diego, California lives the 2-day festival, CRSSD, complete with 3 stages and a perfect place for orange and pink sunset hues. Attracting young and old festival goers, CRSSD is now on its 3rd installment, promising non-stop deep house and techno to electronic lovers. Thousands flocked from all over the country to this sold out music festival with headliners Odesza and Chet Faker closing out the evenings. Complete with several food vendors, city park water fountains to cool off in, and clean grass to lay in, this festival was the perfect way to welcome the 2016 festival season.
How To Get There
This festival, located in San Diego’s Waterfront Park, is located near the San Diego airport for those who are flying in. It takes about 6 minutes by car, or about 15 minute by public transportation (bus). It is about 3.5 hours away from Los Angeles or LAX for those who are coming from the north, or about 5 hours west of Phoenix. I drove in from Phoenix and it was pretty much a straight shot drive with very minimal traffic in and out of the city. And if you’re staying downtown, you can easily walk, uber, or take a trolley straight to the festival.
Where To Stay?
Unlike some other festivals, this is a non-camping festival. There simply is no place to camp in the heart of San Diego! However, there are tons of hotels located right downtown. There are also some very nice an affordable hostels located just walking distance from the park. If staying outside of downtown, there are ubers in surrounding areas that can get you straight to the festival uber drop off location for about $20.
There were roughly 15,000 people per day at the festival. I entered the grounds for the first time around 2:30pm on Saturday afternoon and noticed that it got considerably more crowded as the day got later. However, there was plenty of space at each stage to enjoy the music and find space to dance. Likewise, there was always somewhere you could comfortably sit if your legs got tired from walking through the festival and dancing.
For me, one of the best parts about this festival was its age and dress restrictions. The festival was 21+ with a median age somewhere around 30. While you saw people dressed in funky glasses, onesies, and costumes, the festival has a “no fluffies” and “no excessive kandi” rule, keeping the festival tasteful and less “rave” like. The crowd was friendly, and everyone danced. Another thing to note was the serious presence of SHIPFAM. This festival is certainly an event that over 100 Holy Ship! attendees come to get together again. There were ShipFam shirts, hats, and flags all over the festival. They even hosted a small party at the Hard Rock Hotel, in downtown San Diego about 1 mile from the festival on Friday evening.
There were several great food vendors at CRSSD San Diego. Food ranged from asian chicken teriyaki rice dishes, acai bowls for the health-conscious, and lobster tacos. All vendors were local and set up as one long strip inside the festival. Festival go-ers could snack on something tasty and go right back to grooving to their favorite DJ. Vegan options were available at this festival as well.
What VIP Has To Offer
No VIP at this festival, sorry kids! But there wasn’t really a need for it because there was plenty of great viewing areas, plenty of bars for drinks and enough space for everyone.
Things To Do
The biggest downfall for this festival was that there were no activities that excluded music. You could hang out at one of the three stages, grab a drink or some food, or cool off in the fountains (that were near the stages). While I understand this is purely a music festival, most festival go-ers go for a full blown experience with art and some other fun things to check out when you need a break from the music. The good news, however, is that there is tons to do in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, and there were tons of CRSSD Festival hosted afterparties for attendees that didn’t want the party to end.
What makes the festival different?
- The location: What better place to rock out mid afternoon than downtown San Diego, along the water at one of the cities most beautiful parks? The sunset is to die for and it never felt too crowded.
- The age restrictions: There aren’t many festivals that are 21+, and for our older readers, it makes a pretty huge difference. The festival goers are fun, fashionable and friendly.
- The music: Unlike a lot of other medium sized festivals, CRSSD focused on primarily on deep house and techno music, drawing in lots of Dirtybird artists and fans. The mainstage was the exception to this, hosting more eclectic sounds.
- Don’t bring a backpack, unless you consider it very very small. At the gate, I saw several people being forced to throw away their backpacks and yet I saw people inside with backpacks that were bigger than the ones being thrown away. Its not worth the risk.
- Get there early. The lines are long and crowded to enter, so the earlier you get there, the less you’ll have to wait.
- Bring a sweater, it gets chilly at night!
- Buy tickets to the afterparty before the weekend of the festival because they’ll sell out or you’ll get up-charged at the door!
Overall rating: 7.5/10
While the festival was well organized and run, there are a few things I would like to see changed to enhance the experience as a festival goer.
- There should be a way to standardized what is classified as a “large” backpack. I think it was unfair to those who had to toss their expensive backpacks and walk in with their belongings. Next time make sure security has a measuring tape so that theres no unfairness with this rule.
- Be sure to have some kind of cool lounge or activity for festival goers who need a break from the beats.
- Placing two sets of restrooms on the festival grounds would be great (if it didn’t interfere with the great amount of space festival-goers had).
Overall, I had a great time and really enjoyed myself at CRSSD. I would love to go back again to see what sorts of enhancements were made in its 4th edition.