The sun just dipped below the horizon and Damian Lazarus is nestled in what looks to be a lush forest. He’s been taking the crowd on a sonic journey through ethereal soundscapes for the better part of an hour and a half, a set that could not have been any more brilliant. But the night has only just begun and the dance is as hard as ever with a crowd of crazed dancers dressed in a multitude of costumes. It’s Halloween weekend and this is Groundwater, the newest festival from FNGRS CRSSD to surface in San Diego.
In just its first year, Groundwater made a strong statement with two days of rhythm focused house and techno that catered to an eclectic crowd of revelers. It’s becoming more clear that FNGRS CRSSD is a powerhouse in the Southern California market, as the production company is relentlessly pumping out quality events. Groundwater was announced only a month in advance and took place just weeks after the fall edition of CRSSD Fest, which was wickedly successful as well. Each event boasts a cutting edge lineup of both the industry’s leading and upcoming talent, offering a spectrum of sounds that encompass festival culture.
With a lineup consisting of Dusky, Justin Martin, Breach, Disclosure, Lane 8, Hannah Wants, the aforementioned Damian Lazarus and more, the music flowed nonstop from start to finish. This was because there was only one stage, a good move by the organizers, with giant plants spewing out in every direction it was the perfect backdrop to the evening’s performances.
Standout moments included blistering techno from Dusky that rivaled the following two hours of smooth deep house from Disclosure. Justin Martin, a clear crowd favorite, is one of the better DJs in the industry and he proved it to close out the first night. There was also a special set from San Diego’s own Lee K who warmed up the second day and properly set the vibe with the infectious rhythms that put her on the map. Overall, it was difficult to stop dancing, and judging by the movement of the crowd, nobody wanted to.
View photos from the first edition of Groundwater and stay connected with FNGRS CRSSD to see what they plan next.
[Photo Credit: Felicia Garcia & Miranda Mcdonald]
Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here