CRSSD Brings Underground Sound to Trendy San Diego

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written by Ariana Assaf

CRSSD Festival at a glance

Held bi-annually at San Diego’s picturesque Waterfront Park, CRSSD has served as an easy off season fest since 2014. Just two days of solid musical programming, a no-frills setup, and a 21+ age restriction give the festival a noticeably more refined feel than most, creating an atmosphere that brings attendees back to the roots of a music festival experience. After all, when the only extracurricular activities are splashing in fountains or talking to a magazine editor about how women are over-sexualized in America, you’d better come prepared to actually listen to the music.

Music genre: Deep House, Future House, Techno

Camping: No

Capacity: Small, around 10,000

Crowd type:  Imagine Coachella picked a few of it’s trendiest San Diego natives and invited them to hang out with it’s little brother

Water stations: Yes, but they ran out towards the end of day two, and security took my camelbak bladder (womp).


photo by Skyler Green

photo by Skyler Greene

For the first-timers

I’ll start with a pro tip for this one: don’t drive! Parking options are few and far between in Downtown San Diego on a good day; 15,000 festival goers make availability even slimmer. Take Uber or Lyft with a group and surge pricing won’t do too much damage to your wallet, especially if you head out a few minutes early or grab a drink somewhere after the festival.

There are tons of hotel options in the area (many within walking distance). This year, CRSSD partnered with Andaz San Diego to make finding a place to crash extra easy.

Stage layout

Three stages all in a row make CRSSD super easy to navigate, and not too hard on your dancing feet. My favorite was probably The Palms, but only because that’s where I saw Justin Martin close out on Saturday and where I discovered the glory that is Kaytranada on Sunday.

Musical highlights

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I didn’t arrive until late on Saturday and only had time to see Justin Martin. But, he very quickly made me not care about all those unfortunate events and instead made me care a whole lot about the deliciously deep house he was spinning.

Claptone started off the next day with similarly good vibes and a bunch of gold beaks (which would have made for a great photo op except I was sweaty af), after which I discovered that Thomas Jack is the smiliest DJ ever and Flight Facilities is great at nabbing some of the most angelic vocalists I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching prance around a stage.

photo by Miranda McDonald

photo by Miranda McDonald

I finished the weekend hopping from DubFire to Zhu to Kaytranada, the last of whose musical stylings were new to me and absolutely welcome. Overall, I found the cohesive lineup meant I could be comfortable going from stage to stage and finding something to groove to.

VIP or nah

Doesn’t exist (and you don’t need it anyway).

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