For those of us who are faithful house and techno music fans (tech heads, where ya at?), I’m sure many of us can agree that it’s oftentimes challenging to find festivals that dedicate their music to these genres almost entirely. They don’t come around often, and when they do, their lineups are up for debate. However, CRSSD Fest completely proved this idea wrong with this year’s event, as it was a spectacular weekend of performances from some of the finest within each genre.
Sure, the lineup boasted some big-name EDM artists, which are always amazing to see – Flume, Alunageorge, Snakehips and more – but as an obsessed house and techno music lover, this festival drew me in for many of the other artists listed that don’t receive the same amount of attention. And with that, just about every single performance that happened over the course of the weekend was breathtaking. I vividly remember walking away from each noting how impressive they were. The artists that we had the opportunity to see put true passion and emphasis on what they chose to play to the crowd and kept all of us moving and grooving the entire time.
To name a few of the weekends favorites, Ame, Heidi, Damien Lazarus, Seth Troxler B2B Eats Everything, Rohdad, Justin Martin and Cut Snake gave the crowd some of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time. Ame closed out Saturday night with some true techno that kept us moving regardless of how exhausted we were, beautifully mixing in simple melodies to an addicting bassline to create two hours of glory. Damian Lazarus’ set earlier that took place on Saturday took tribal tech to a new level (I highly recommend you check out this track, one of our favorites that he played). Seth Troxler and Eats Everything played a truly captivating set together Sunday night as they mixed their own respective house and techno styles into a unique feature we can only hope they recorded to re-live again one day. And Justin Martin, of course, captivated a massive crowd with his bass house tracks as he always does – he never fails us, honestly.
In terms of the actual event setup, the festival took place from noon to 11pm on Saturday and noon to 10pm on Sunday night, which was a great afternoon-to-evening time period to give you just enough time to recover for the next day. The venue was set up on a long, grassy field overlooking the San Diego Bay, which was a beautiful sight – regardless of the minor rain we faced on Sunday afternoon – and the three stage setups were beautifully done. The Palms, City Steps and Ocean View, as they were called, were placed far enough away from each other that the sound didn’t overlap, but not too far away where it took more than a few minutes to walk from set to set. Most notably, the lighting rigs for each of the stages were gorgeous, reflecting their own color schemes across the three and highlighting their own unique setups.
The sound production at two of the stages, however, I found to be a bit wonky. When trying to watch Lost Frequencies‘ sunset set at the Ocean View stage, we found that even when standing in the middle of the crowd, we could still easily hear ourselves talking to each other – the sound wasn’t quite as loud as we had hoped it to be. On Sunday evening during Claude Vonstroke’s set at The Palms, it was too quiet to really even feel much of a bassline, which was quite disappointing. One caveat: City Steps never failed in sound quality, or lights. Quite frankly, I’d call it the best stage with its combination of lights, stage setup, lineup and sound – but that’s just me.
Lastly, the massive amount of trash that attendees left at the festival was one thing that truly stuck with me as I flew home the next morning. Everywhere you walked, there were cups, plates and empty water bottles scattered across the grass, sidewalk and even in the water fountains that decorated the venue. I’m not sure if this was due to a lack of trashcans, or just as a result of the crowd that attended – but I do hope that this is something that won’t be as much of a problem in the future.
All in all, this festival is one I’m truly excited to see grow and evolve over time. Their musical taste is absolutely on point and I can only hope that they’ll continue to impress in years to come.