This two-day event hosted world-class house and techno acts at Waterfront Park.

FNGRS CRSSD hosted its spring edition of CRSSD Festival this past weekend from March 4-5, 2023. If you’re a San Diego local, you probably know this festival (and its sister events) have been revolutionizing the dance music scene around here for nearly a decade. Not only do they have a knack for booking top talent and playing to their audience’s underground tastes, but the pioneers at FNGRS CRSSD are also credited as the first to transform Waterfront Park into what’s now considered one of the city’s most iconic music venues.

After weeks of record-breaking rainfall in Southern California,15,000 house-heads geared up to reunite at CRSSD Festival, the unofficial opening party for Spring in San Diego. As one of the west coast’s most celebrated house and techno festivals, this 21+ event offered festivalgoers a variety of three stages, premier food and beverage options, and stunning sunsets in full-view from the dance floor. 

ICYMI, or are newly crssd-curious, we’ve got you covered! We’re recapping the weekend’s key moments and the track ID’s that went along with them.

On day one: attendees dawned their new festival fashions, seamlessly rolled through security, and into the venue to enjoy an array of electronic artists. Upon arrival, we were ushered onto the dace floor at the Palms Stage by the beats of Scottish DJ, Jackmaster. Next, we dropped by City Steps to catch Napoli-based producer and N:S:DA label head, Anifsa Letyag. Here the breakthrough DJ/producer of 2019 threw down her signature hard-hitting techno with an effortless and charismatic stage presence. Just across the way, at the Ocean View mainstage, we found Giolì & Assia’s live performance leading the way into golden hour and beyond. The Italian duo’s talent was on full display, as Giorgia’ breezed through multiple instruments, Assia’s brought superb vocals and they spun up the perfect set list blending techno, house, indie, and pop. After dusk, the crowd hit an inflection point when they dropped the club edit of Blame On Me, and absolutely lost it when Turn On The Lights Again… (Anyma Remix) came on. Changing pace, Indietronica producer and singer-songwriter Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (or TEED), took the stage next. The Oxford-raised, Los Angeles-based artist was drenched in cotton candy colored lights as he performed his long-awaited second album of existential love songs. He kicked off the set with Crosswalk, then showed off some extra-funky dance moves during Never Seen You Dance, and brewed up a crowd sing-along during Be With You, all from the 2022 release “When the Lights Go”. Then the mainstage turned over once more to welcome the indomitable BRIT Award winner, Becky Hill with her DJ and two backing singers. After opening the night with Heaven on My Mind, the powerhouse singer roused the audience with a little commentary, before setting it off with chart-topping collabs – Piece of Me with MK, Gecko with Oliver Heldens, and Remember with David Guetta. Hill’s incredible vocal range and ability to connect with the audience made this easily one of the most compelling acts of the weekend leaving fans singing My Heart Goes (La Di Da) as we awaited Polo & Pan’s stage debut. The enchanting cirque-dreamscape, Côme, played over the speakers as the Parisian duo of Paul Armand-Delille (Polo) and Alexandre Grynszpan (Pan) took their places behind the decks for the start of a fantastical voyage. With undeniable charm, they strut about the stage in all white performing their Feel Good musical menagerie of house, pop, disco, and psychedelia-tinged songs. Vocalist Victoria Lafaurie joined the group on stage and mesmerized audiences during Attrape-Rêve and their most popular track, Canopée. After a steady stream of acts at the Ocean View stage, it was time to head over to the Palms to catch French synthwave favorite, Kavinsky. While Belorgey is best known for songs like Nightcall and Renegade, laden with the sounds of French house, 16-bit video games, and reminiscent of ’80s synth soundtracks – his noir-vibes drove in a completely different direction for the night. Before getting into his originals, he curated a slew of throwback house party jams. First, he teased out the CRSSD anthem, Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You, which escalated into Benny Benassi’s Iconic Satisfaction (recently remixed by David Guetta for the song’s 20th anniversary) which brought the crowd to a rolling boil. From there, all bets were off: he cut to a Rage Against the Machine song, then Skillex X Missy Elliot’s new release RATATA, followed by a ruthless JUSTICE song. After taking fans through a sonic spiral, Kavinsy then dug into his originals to close out the night. 

Stay tuned for more on CRSSD Festival Day Two, coming up next.

Want to stay in the know about upcoming FNGRS CRSSD shows? Cruise their events calendar here or follow them on social media at @crssdfest or @fngrscrssd.

REVIEW BY: Kate Ammerman
IMAGES: Courtesy of CRSSD Festival // Juliana Bernstein @gettinyJLB & Felicia Garcia — @fixationphotography