By: Lauren Ellermeyer
I recently read an interesting review of the San Diego waterfront music festival, CRSSD, which I attended a couple of weekends ago. The headline was:
“Coachella’s Hot Younger Sister.”
To be fair, I’ve never been to the world-renowned desert music festival, but from what I have heard, seen and read, it’s Coachella that evokes the spazzy little sister. I’m not talking about the bands; I’m talking about the experience.
CRSSD was a combination of refined debauchery and experienced revelry… you know… the hot older sister.
The perspicacious promoters of the San Diego event—in an effort to distinguish the authentic, inaugural, over-21-only music festival from an indoor rave—posted a few rules and recommendations for concert goers to stay above the fray. They heavily encouraged:
• Good times
And heavily discouraged:
• Rave attire
• Furry boots
• Bad attitudes
Nothing wrong with the latter minus the attitude; however, we were reminded this was a festival, not a rave, and so they banned predominant rave accessories—like glow sticks and hula-hoops—with a dress code suggesting people show up at least partially clad.
OK. So, maybe because I would be the hot older sister (hot because I was rapidly melting under the blazing sun)—I’m not 19 anymore—these were welcomed caveats and ones that likely contributed to the overwhelming success of the first CRSSD Fest. I may be biased but I’m not alone. A friend of mine, Lucas Sisneroz, said this was the first real music festival in San Diego since Street Scene in the Gas Lamp district:
“CRSSD is a completely different and unique festival that can stand on its own merit. The downtown skyline and the harbor views were the perfect backdrop—classic San Diego in all aspects. Listening to the summer beats fill the air with sunshine glistening off the water, we strolled in the hot daylight from stage to stage with drinks in hand—splashing in the fountains for a brief chill while De Longe played fan favorites. Empire of the Sun sounded so San Diego under the night sky and Chromeo provided all the dance you needed—along with an epic light show. And who could forget all the great music under the shade of the Palms Stage? In the end, it was a success. Everyone I went with loved it, and everyone I knew who didn’t go was super bummed they missed it.”
There’s really nothing that compares to great music, scenery like nowhere else on this planet and thousands of people—or maybe just one—you actually want to bump into, which leads me to the following thought:
OK, so it was a huge party—non-stop. Amazing bands. Beautiful venue. I actually expected longer lines but everything moved along. Some festivals I’ve been to don’t take credit cards. CRSSD did. Overall, I had a blast.
But, I’ll admit, I went into the weekend knowing I might bump into something I wasn’t sure I was prepared for. Had I been the “younger sister,” it would have been a buzz kill. But because I am, well… not, I took it in stride and drank it all in. Definitely a little too much… The point is, I had tons of fun with an incredible group of positive people until I decided it was time to split. I spent most of Sunday night alone, I felt left so I went right, bouncing from new group to new group and dancing with kind strangers—until I could not shake another move. That’s when the festival hit the high note: There, in the grass, under the stars, listening to Odesza, it all came together—life, love, and letting go. (Sorry about the cliché.)
After the set, I stood up and walked directly to the exit without looking back. I just kept walking. I decided it was finally time to leave all the feelings and emotions back at the festival where they belonged.
Time to recover? Let’s just say I don’t recover like I used to…which makes me a little nervous about Coachella. But hell yeah, I’m going! And should our intentions align, maybe our paths will be CRSSD?