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Chronicles of a techno weekend in San Diego

Two days among the artists of the CRSSD Festival

Chronicles of a techno weekend in San Diego Two days among the artists of the CRSSD Festival
Conrad Byer

CRSSD Festival, held on the coast of San Diego, just steps away from the Pacific Ocean, featured three stages, four boat parties, and more than 40 music artists performing. The artists, many of them having traveled from Europe and Australia to play at CRSSD for the first time, displayed a rhapsodic array of music spanning Saturday and Sunday.

The Palms stage, artfully shrouded in palms and shrubbery, is one of three music stages and served as a perfect ocular sensory while the performing DJ’s played varied House music laden sets that kept the crowd dancing through a Saturday full of scattered sun-showers and a Sunday full of sun. Miane spun an amazing set, giving the festival attendees who were just beginning to enter an immediate immersion into that festival feel. Maxinne set The Palms aflame with a set as fiery as her intensely hued, perfectly styled bob. Clearly considerate of details, she wore an Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh t-shirt with shrubbery surrounding the intersecting arrow logo to match the set design. Dan Shake, with a fleecy look and funky sound, amped the crowd up with a soulful and fun selection of mixes. After his set we danced with the crowd for a bit and chatted about how Americans love to wear t-shirts with random slogans on them like FUCK, or random unironic quotes from celebrities. (I definitely used to own a What If We Fucked At This Vogue Party? shirt from Ye’s The Life of Pablo era). ABSOLUTE, with an impeccably dyed neon green hairstyle, spun an electrifying DJ set. Full of energy himself, he and the crowd were both bouncing around as the sound carried us into the sunset. 

At the Ocean View, live performance stage, Life On Planets, who’s sound, a smooth blend of House, R&B, and Soul, paired beautifully with the expansive ocean background lined with towering palm trees. Brother and sister duo Lastlings performed a few of their melodic, good mood hits for their adoring fans, which is impressive to me as my siblings and I would only create arguments on stage. SG Lewis blew his performance out of the water with the assistance of a very packed, surprisingly in tune crowd that knew almost every single lyric. The harmonic five-piece electropop group Parcels, who, I must say, are a strikingly suave and personable group (I mean, I literally said, “You should all also be signed by IMG Models.”) each served their musical purpose on stage to achieve a cohesive sound for the CRSSD Festival crowd. Blu DeTiger, who is quite famous on TikTok for her swoon worthy music and personality, brought out her beautiful blue Jazz bass guitar to serenade the attendees. Headliner SOFI TUKKER closed the weekend out with a nighttime performance that gave the music festival a movie-like ending.

The City Steps stage, which was placed centrally in front of San Diego’s City and Administration building and served as the Techno arena, was an incredibly high energy sector. Maddy from Euphoria was certainly on the moodboard for a lot of the attendees, though, it’s fair to say that Euphoria’s makeup aesthetic is actually heavily festival inspired. My friend and I fondly called all of these midriff showing, low-rise, pelvis exposing ensembles “Maddy outfits”. Nina Kravitz and Joris Voorn amongst other techno sound selectors were responsible for keeping the City Steps stage jumping all weekend. 

I came back home with about 30 Shazam screenshots in my photos from asking Siri “What song is this?” and a few more artists to add to my Tidal music playlist (I personally prefer Tidal to Apple Music). It’s been some time since my last music festival (and by some time, I mean a few months) but they always serve as a refreshing reminder that there is a mounting progression towards “normalcy” occurring. Being able to experience new people and sounds in a space where the foundation is music and camaraderie is what festival goers have to look forward to this upcoming Spring/Summer season.