This past weekend San Diego saw the return of CRSSD Festival for an entirely Sold-Out weekend. An estimated 15,000 attendees packed out the city’s Waterfront Park for a two-day of music bonanza that featured the who’s who of international house music as well as eclectic acts from the indie electronica world.
Colder-than-usual temperatures didn’t stop the festival from reaching peak attendance, leaving everyone to wonder if CRSSD will expand to three days in the near future or will continue as it has done for the past three editions. It is nothing short of remarkable that the team behind CRSSD has built a sold-out festival in merely a year, in no small part thanks to well-curated line-ups and one of the most beautiful festival setting in the United States.
Things started strong on Day one courtesy of Crosstown Rebels chief Damian Lazarus who took over the City Steps stage with a two hour set of powerful house peppered with tribal sounds.
Next up, it was the turn of Skream , who played not one but five sets over the weekend including a back-to-back with Tom Trago subbing in for a late Loco Dice on Day 2, a surprise back-to-back with Jamie Jones at an after-party and a set each on both Friday and Saturday.
Elsewhere, as the sun begun to set attendees were treated by beautiful performances by Lane 8 at The Palms stage and Ryan Hemsworth at the Ocean View Main Stage.
As the sky turned dark and a blanket of drizzle began to fall, Tiga took over at The Palms with a set that blurred the lines between techno and house while France’s GESAFFELSTEIN delivered with a powerful DJ set of personal production favorites that had the crowd wanting for more.
Depending on your taste, you could choose to end Saturday with Hot Creations boss Jamie Jones at The Palms stage, Cirez D and his signature progressive techno at The City Steps or the increasingly popular Odesza at the main stage. Despite the rain the crowds remained strong to close out the first day of CRSSD.
Overall, things went fairly smoothly throughout the first half of the weekend. Admittedly, large crowds caused some bottlenecks at the bathrooms which CRSSD worked to handle (and only partially did) by adding more porta potties on Sunday and it appeared that sound could be improved at both the City Steps and Palms stages by adding more stacks for those in the back. These are understandable and easily solvable growing pains for a festival that has perhaps expanded more than anyone could have ever expected in such a short period of time.
Sunday started strong, as blue skies took over welcoming thousands back to close out the weekend in style. Dirtybird faithful J.Phlip and Ardalan went back-to-back in front of a large crowd early in the day as Tom Trago handed over the decks to Swiss duo Adriatique at the City Steps.
Oliver Heldens took over the Ocean View stage for one of the day’s most anticipated sets under his Hi-Lo moniker, drawing an unsurprisingly large crowd. A quick walk elsewhere as Green Velvet gave The City Steps his Chicago house treatment and Gorgon City went back-t0-back with Kidnap Kid highlighted just how busy the festival was at sold-out capacity: all three stages were busy with thousands of dancing crazy festival goers.
Regardless, as thousands poured out of Waterfront Park and began to make their way to their chosen after-parties, it became clear that CRSSD Festival has undeniably cut itself a large slice of the pie that is the American festival scene. We look forward to seeing how the festival handles the amazing prospect of expansion in the coming years.