It’s festival season, and music festivals tend to be safe havens — where people can be their wildest, most fun, free-est selves without fear or being looked at funny. For some reason, festivals get a bad rep as places where millennials, spoiled kids whose parents bought them tickets, and older adults who are committed to “the scene” come together to do drugs, have weird sexual encounters, wear costumes, and accidentally take in a musical act.
While that might occasionally be accurate, music festivals also serve as a sense of community in a society in which it can be difficult to create or maintain an identity. A port in the storm, so to speak.
Music lovers are a different breed of person in the first place: They obsess over tiny nuances in musical compositions by their favorite acts; they compete over who has the best taste in tunes; they give themselves (and secretly others) cool points for finding new music that their friends aren’t onto yet. Loving music is a culture in and of itself, and electronic dance music — and its many subgenres and relatives — make up arguably one of the most interesting subcultures. The sense of camaraderie that fans feel simply for having the same musical tastes is inexplicably unmatched in across musical subcultures.
That’s why festivals like CRSSD are so important: They give house and techno-lovers a place to be themselves and around each other, creating a safe space for each other. These fans tend to be some of the nicest people you could meet, and from the looks of the photos from this year’s CRSSD festival — held in Waterfront Park, San Diego March 3-4 — they’re some of the most crazy-fun people you could meet, as well.
Check these photos and you’ll know pretty quickly if next year’s CRSSD is for you.