This coming weekend, the second installment of CRSSD Festival will return to Waterfront Park in San Diego for two days of cutting edge alternative dance music. With parents like Goldenvoice and SoCal party curators FNGRS CRSSD, it’s no surprise the inaugural event sold out and went off with barely a misstep on the production or logistics front. Being nicknamed “Coachella’s younger sibling” is hardly like taking second place. CRSSD is exquisitely curated on the music and cultural fronts, and its coastal-urban setting allows attendees to soak in the beauty of San Diego while enjoying all it has to offer. I might be a little biased, but in my experience, not many festivals embody the spirit of their location so much as this one. With such an excellent and diverse lineup, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have your every musical desire met, but there are other factors that contribute to CRSSD’s impeccable atmosphere. Whether you’re a native San Diegan or the festival has brought you to America’s finest city for the first time, here are my tips for making the most out of your time at CRSSD:
1. The Festival Pregame: Brunch like a San Diegan
One thing is certain: Any great party starts off with a great pregame, and when the party starts at noon, that only means one thing–boozy brunch. It may seem like everyone in San Diego might be working out 90% of the time, but it’s probably to work off all the calories they just day drank and devoured in delicious Cali cuisine..and because half of them legitimately don’t have real jobs, but I digress. Lucky for you, CRSSD’s location in Little Italy is also home to some of the best food and drink this foodie city has to offer. If you’re trying to maintain some dignity before the fest, Kettner Exchange is arguably one of the most happening places around for the brunch game. Complete with luxe daybeds on its second floor outdoor seating area, an indulgent but modern menu, and a craft cocktails that will have you feeling very good, Kettner is an all around win. Make a reservation though, or you might find yourself hitting up the nearby 711 for some DIY Andre mimosas and breakfast empanadas. Yum.
2. Prepare to Get Wet
Fall seems to have forgotten about California this year, but we’re not complaining too much. Still, with temperatures forecasted in the high 80’s this weekend, you’re going to be wishing you could take a dip in the nearby ocean and be able to re-enter the festival. Don’t try this for risk of missing out on the rest of the music, but you’re still in luck–the Waterfront Park has an impressive wading pool and fountains that seemed quite swimsuit-friendly at the last event. Plus, you know you’re gonna want to show off that post-brunch six pack…
3. Experience Each Vibe
CRSSD has a very manageable three stages, each one with a distinct atmosphere. The festival grounds are relatively small, making navigating between stages without losing your belongings and your friends entirely possible. At Ocean View Live you’ll find (appropriately) most live bands, combination acts, and ending headliners–catch Kygo, Zhu, and the Flaming Lips here. One of my most memorable moments from March was seeing Hot Natured in full force while playing in the fountains in the setting sun. Doesn’t get much better, I tell you. The Palms is near the front of the festival and under the cover of foliage, providing some shade from the sun while you vibe to disco, tropical and future house acts like Goldroom, Jamie XX, and Cashmere Cat. Last but not least, my home for most of the weekend… the City Steps stage is devoted to the darker vibes of techno and experimental dance music, boasting acts like Bob Moses, Claptone, Maya Jane Coles, and Ben Klock. It’s right in front of the landmark County Administration Center, and let’s be real–raving in front of a government building just might be one of life’s greatest paradoxes.
4. Pay Homage to the Neighborhood
While food is usually the last thing on my mind at a festival, you’ll want to swing by at least one of the local vendors at CRSSD to get your share of craft beverages and eats from some of the city’s best restaurants. You won’t find stale soft pretzels and microwave pizza here; feast your tastebuds on asian fusion from Japanese sushi joint-turned-techno-nightclub Bang Bang, gourmet sandwiches at Rubicon Deli, or something nourishing and hydrating from superfood experts Juice Saves and Sol Cal Cafe. Do not leave without having several El Camino margaritas. And hey, if you’re still craving that pizza, Spicy Pie is just so damn good.
5. Keep the Party Going
CRSSD might end before midnight, but FNGRS CRSSD has you covered all weekend if you aren’t quite ready to go home. Local techno mecca Bang Bang is hosting parties under their massive disco ball from Friday-Sunday night. The golden vibes of Goldroom will kick the weekend off on Friday night, followed by Cashmere Cat on Saturday and Wax Motif b2b Cut Snake on Sunday. The real grande finale, however, is NGHT MVS–Maya Jane Coles, Ben Klock, Claptone and Lee K will be throwing down until 4 am at the Valley View Casino Center. Whether you go to one or all, FNGRS CRSSD is committed to keeping the party going long after the festival gates close. Snag your afterparty tickets here.
In case you need anything else to get excited for CRSSD, they have released a free, downloadable media bundle via WeTransfer. Packed with music, wallpapers, and other treats, it’s the perfect morsel to tide you over for the rest of the workweek. See everyone on the waterfront this weekend!
Lineup with Day Split: