Five favorite things from CRSSD Fest 2017

I got to experience CRSSD Fest 2017 in San Diego this past weekend, my third time attending the heavily-electronic festival. Though admittedly electronic music isn’t my main genre of choice, I still had a great time catching some epic sets and making new pals. Here were my five favorite things about my experience at Waterfront Park!

Friend-circle during Snakehips closing their set with “All My Friends”

I rolled solo out to San Diego on the Pacific Surfline train from LA, but knew a couple people that were going to be out at the fest to link up with. I got into the fest right as the music started the first day, doing my own thing for several hours before linking up with my friend Mitch. Music festivals are about music, yes, but they’re also a great place to make friends and by the second day I’d had fulfilling conversations with dozens of people I didn’t know before. By the time Snakehips hit the main stage at sunset on the second day, all those festival feels were in full effect and we made a big circle during their anthem “All My Friends” – pretty epic.

Watching new pop sensation Billie Eilish arrive on the festival scene

The reason I got into the fest so early the first day was to see 15-year-old rising pop singer Billie Eilish. With only three songs to her name on Spotify, I became mystified by her Lana Del Rey meets MO meets a less bubbly Oh Wonder vibes. I missed her set at School Night last October and wanted to catch her before she blows up big. It was her first festival performance but you wouldn’t have known by the swagger she graced the stage with. She even mentioned she was sick but it wasn’t evident in her singing. The songwriting is extremely strong and it was nice to see her backing band include – brother Finneas O’Connell, who doubles as her primary writing partner but also provided excellent backing vocals. I’m looking forward to following her trajectory for years to come.

The light rain that came Sunday – and the reaction it evoked from the crowd

Weather forecasts had predicted a heavy rain was supposed to come Sunday. When it started raining a bit during Sonny Fodera’s set, you could feel a bit of anxiety wash over the crowd. But then all of a sudden the right beat struck and people just began to embrace the rain, relishing the opportunity to dance with their friends as the deluge began to befall them. The rain never got that heavy and only lasted about 15 minutes, hardly long enough to ruin anyone’s good time.

Teresa the 63-Year-Young Rave Queen

As I detailed in an earlier post, I came across a 63-year-old woman named Teresa who set the bar high as far as dancing at CRSSD. I spoke to her for a bit and watched her bust moves far beyond my own comprehension. The accessibility that music festivals provide to music that might be otherwise be hard to take part in is underrated – especially electronic music where a lot of it takes place in clubs with a less than inclusionary atmosphere. Teresa seemed to enjoy herself and prove that you can’t judge a book by their cover. That grandma in the grocery line in front of you is probably a bigger bad ass than you’ll ever be.

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Slow-dancing middle-school style during Marian Hill’s cover of Whitney Houston

Marian Hill was one of the big draws for me to come to CRSSD Fest. I had somehow missed them at a couple different festivals over the past two years (set time conflicts are a bitch) and was glad to be able to get a good spot for their main-stage precursor to Flume. Their sexy electro-R&B jams are endless, and it was nice to hear so much from what was one of my favorite debut albums of 2016. One of the highlights was when they went into a slowed-tempo cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and I grabbed one of my new friends and we slow-danced like it was middle school – arms outstretched as far forward as possible with no rhythm whatsoever. The only thing that was missing was the awkward walk to the opposite end of the festival grounds afterwards.

Photo courtesy of Felicia Garcia / CRSSD Fest