Waterfront Park’s CRSSD is quickly becoming the west coast’s mecca for all things house and techno. The festival thrives in a easy to navigate venue by the bay, complete with chill grassy areas and photogenic fountains. Attendees range from blackened techno souls to San Diego locals ready to party and the festival exudes good vibes from every orifice. It’s a place to discover new favorites and witness certified legends, all of whom seem to be just as happy to be there as the paying customers. Here are some highlights from the event that we’re replaying in our minds til CRSSD Fall comes around:
CamelPhat at City Steps
A set so good I think myself and many fellow dancers turned into trans-dimensional space goats, CamelPhat took hold of the sizable 3pm crowd and didn’t let go. Their massive catalog of addictive, mesmerizing house bangers made an hour seem like 15 minutes so clearly they’re a duo you need to see multiple times to get your fix. Tour dates here. Witnessing the set not far from the left speaker stack, every drum, synthy sound and vocal sample sounded crystal clear and confirmed my suspicions that CamelPhat are indeed aliens. You learn something every day.
Golden Road Brewing Tent
Nice people. Delicious beer. Find you a tent that can do both. I did just that at the centrally located Golden Road Brewing tent. Whether you were headed to Ocean View or grabbing a beer to bring back to City Steps, the fruity (but not TOO fruity, know what I mean?) goodness of Golden Road was never too out of the way. The staff was ready with a smile and sent you on your way with a cup or can full of one of their fantastic beverages. Pineapple, mango, melon – it was hard to go wrong but we sure did try all of them, a few times, for um, journalist reasons.
Sure, it’s not where you WANT to spend your time but it happens, and thankfully at this year’s CRSSD it wasn’t as frightful a feat as it had been in past years. With a few quick excuse me’s and sights set on the back row, you could find yourself at a lineless portapotty that even had toilet paper in it. Festival jackpot. The restrooms near the Palms stage even had this poor statue cooped up in there. Photo op!
Back at it again and this time as a mom, Anna Lunoe showed no mercy on the throngs of fans that jammed their way under the swaying umbrellas of the Palms Stage. She ripped through tracks that brought the feels, made you dance and was an all around model of what a high-energy set should be. Witnessing it up close and personal thanks to our adept navigator who could not be told otherwise was perhaps my favorite moment of CRSSD. There’s something to be said for being thrust into the tightly packed throes of front center stage. 10/10 would do again.
— Mara (@CaffeinatedOwl) March 6, 2018
Never one to miss a chance to grab a treasured festival souvenir, a goal of mine was to snag a coveted House x Techno bomber jacket on day 1. Andddd they were gone. Alas, thanks to the chilly conditions and poor planning on my part, I’m instead the proud owner of the last nod-to-Kanye hoodie CRSSD had available and as it was handed to me it might as well have been a gold bar. CRSSD merch is the most clever and creative I’ve seen at a festival, so the long lines at the start of the festival are understandable. Pro tip: If you can bear it, try and make it back to the merch when more high-profile artists are on. Shorter lines await.
CRSSD has their bi-annual festival down to a science with thoughtful bookings, diverse food and drink offerings and a venue that won’t quit. With this edition of the event selling out before they opened the gates, the festival is in the midst of establishing themselves as a bucket list event for house and techno faithful. From the looks of artists’ social media who played the event, it seems they’ll be happy to appear year after year.