Let’s call it what it is: CRSSD isn’t for everybody. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that good music should be kept from anyone - just that if you’re not ready for it, it’s more or less wasted on you.
...Okay, this is already coming out all wrong. Let me start over.
THUMP’s Jemayel Khawaja wrote of the inaugural edition of CRSSD Festival, which took place March 14th and 15th of last year at Waterfront Park in San Diego, California, that it “captured the moment of a generation moving beyond EDM.” As spot on as his observation may have been, he would likely agree that the members of said generation aren’t all making the shift in unison.
For every late millennial who’s just begun to burrow beneath dance music’s most superficial layer, there are several more who have a ways to go before they’re musically mature enough to appreciate the atmosphere that an outfit like FNGRS CRSSD puts together. Whether you fall into the former or latter category is a question only you can answer looking deep within yourself.
Today’s your lucky day, though. In order to save you the countless waking hours you’d be flushing down the drain on all that introspective soul searching, I’ve identified five simple qualifications that you must meet to be worthy of all the warm, happy CRSSDness that awaits you this upcoming weekend. Read through them to find out if you’re ready - and just for the record, if you’re taking this list seriously enough to post a rant about it in the comments, consider yourself ruled out.
5. You’re 21 or older. Alright, hold on, before you complain that this is just an actual, literal requirement for you to physically make it past security at the entrance of CRSSD and not the abstract, existential sort of prerequisite you were expecting from this list, bear in mind that there’s more to the festival’s 21+ policy than liquor laws alone. If you’re still wading through the indecisive fog of adolescence that inevitably hangs for a few years after high school ends, then the fact of the matter is that the music scene might turn out to be little more than a passing phase for you (despite whatever profound realization you may have had the last time you took an extracurricular substance). No hard feelings, but shouldn't somebody else go to CRSSD instead if you're just gonna go on to become an accountant or something?
4. You’ve adopted a borderline religious fervor for house and techno. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there was that person you were back when you were still all about whatever fad genre first got you into electronic music... Then, there’s you now, after you wandered into that one dimly lit warehouse (you know the one) filled with dreary silhouettes bobbing in unison to a stripped-down, metronome-like beat - and for whatever reason thought to yourself, “Oh, now I get it.”
Sure, there are plenty of other respectable styles of music out there, but the radiant beacon that is house music - and the techno that rose from its shadow - are practically your heartbeat nowadays. Whether you prefer artists like Sam Feldt and Bakermat who hold up the more melodic end of the spectrum, or crave the darker soundscapes of DJ/producers like Maya Jane Coles and Claptone, CRSSD will provide any number of proper rabbit holes for your diving pleasure.
3. The initialism “EDM” makes your skin crawl. We’ve aired our own grievances with the term “EDM” a time or two in the past, but no matter where you fall on dance music’s most infamous three-letter word, the fact remains that using it as a catch-all to describe all music genres stemming from Chicago house is a surefire way to come across as an entry-level fan. That’s not even to say that all EDM is bad - just that there’s something distasteful about referring to, say, Lee Burridge as EDM. Calling him either “electronic music” or “dance music” is okay for some reason, though.
2. You support the people who are in this for the right reasons. If 2016 has taught us one thing, it’s that when the mind behind a massive harbors ulterior motives the results can be catastrophic. Now more than ever, the modern music fan favors the sort of promoter who’s put in years of work for little more than the love of the music itself - and being that FNGRS CRSSD threw parties at such venerable locales as San Diego’s Bang Bang and Los Angeles’ Sound Nightclub since long before their partnership with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice afforded them the opportunity to organize events of this scale, their credentials speak for themselves.
1. You’re over the festival formula. What, pray tell, is the festival formula? Well, to be honest it’s just something I made up to bash on festivals, but I guess it would probably look something like this:
f(festival) = (X stages ÷ X famous DJs you’ve seen on every other lineup) all fenced off for X days with enough attendees to populate a medium-sized metropolis.
What mainstream electronic music festivals have come to lack in recent years more than anything else is a deliberately curated experience. The FNGRS CRSSD talent buyers favor undervalued talent over name brand recognition in their booking process, which is why innovative acts like Shiba San, M.A.N.D.Y. and Rezz fill the bulk of the time slots.
Granted, CRSSD has stages like those of any other live music event, but between the beachfront scenery and the numerous after parties associated with the event, in its fledgling years it’s already established itself as a brand with greater cultural significance than that of a party alone.
CRSSD Festival will take place at Waterfront Park in San Diego on October 1st and 2nd. To purchase tickets or find more information, click here.