CRSSD Festival Becomes the Anti-Rave For the Mature Electronic Crowd

Sun soaked vibes at last year's CRSSD Festival.
Sun soaked vibes at last year's CRSSD Festival.
YouTube/ valerie oz

Many Orange County house and techno heads are probably already packing their cars and prepping for the long drive down the 5 Freeway South for this weekend's CRSSD Festival in San Diego, a two-day electronic music festival on its third edition in 12 months at San Diego's Waterfront Park. 

With a lineup that includes Odesza, Chet Faker, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones and dozens of other prominent electronic acts, CRSSD is quickly ascending in the world of electronic festivals. The San Diego festival has adopted an ambitious seasonal schedule similar to Insomniac events —the folks behind Nocturnal Wonderland, Beyond Wonderland and Electric Daisy Carnival. The difference with CRSSD is their laid-back lineups with an emphasis on mellower acts rather than bass-heavy EDM performers.  Tropical-house, neo-disco, chill-wave, neo-synth-pop and deep-house are the styles most notably featured at CRSSD Fest. 

However, last October's festival with indie rock headliners such as TV On The Radio and The Flaming Lips was a bit of an unexpected turn for an event that had such a strong electronic lineup in its debut last March. Their attendance numbers were also down in comparison to their March debut. Perhaps CRSSD Fest was still figuring itself out? This year's event is faring much better with the festival being completely sold out —evidence of CRSSD's growing popularity.

Waterfront Park has a capacity of 15,000 which provides an intimate and comfortable setting, making CRSSD Festival a standout by electronic music festival standards. 

CRSSD Festival is also 21 and older — most electronic festivals are 18 and older, and has implemented policies that seem to ostensibly stray away from rave culture. The festival's own website heavily discourages furry boots, kandi — bracelets made out of colorful beads, and rave attire. 

"This is an older market, that's why they chose to go twenty-one and over. It's really hard to sell the young crowd house and techno. They're not mature enough to listen to it. It's a lot more mature sound." says Marco Cervantes, a self-contracted promoter and nightlife consultant in Orange County.

"It's a lot more hipster, older vibe compared to Insomniac events and just because of where it was located, in San Diego, it just seemed like people had a higher income." says Jacqueline Patterson of Fullerton, a previous CRSSD fest attendee.

The beautiful downtown San Diego skyline, the historic San Diego County Adminstration Building and the San Diego Bay encompass the festival's breathtaking setting. 

"I liked it a lot, the scenery and environment was awesome, they do a good job of setting the tone for the event. It was the cleanest festival I've ever left." Patterson adds. Jaqueline's only complaint was the sound-bleeding between stages, an issue hopefully resolved by this weekend's festival. 

San Diego's FNGRS CRSSD and Los Angeles' Goldenvoice — known for putting on Coachella and Stagecoach, co-produced the festival's first two editions.  FNGRS CRSSD entirely produced this year's fest and added after-party performances at several downtown San Diego venues. Featured performers include Tiga, Ardala and Claude VonStroke. 

CRSSD Festival is burgeoning as a refined festival option for the older electronic music crowd of Southern California and will surely gain more and more prominence in the coming seasons. You've been warned, the 5 Freeway South just got more cramped. 


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