San Diego has become grounds for a festival revolution within the dance community music scene; with the birth of CRSSD a few years back, attendees from across the country have been flocking to America’s Finest City to experience a whirlwind experience of techno and house bliss. Groundwater made its’ debut this Halloween at Petco Park, with an impressive lineup of an assortment of representatives stemming from tech-house to Dirtybird to accommodate all music tastes.image1

Deciphering away from its sister festival CRSSD, Groundwater was a much smaller and intimate event, with only one stage and a much more condensed lineup. None the less, it was the intimacy and singularity of the festival (only one stage) that allowed for less set conflicts and distractions. Some top headliners were Disclosure and Lane 8 which drew a nearly sold out crowd decked in costumes together to dance and drink for two night’s straight. There were also an assortment of after and pre-parties to close out the night at surrounding venues including a Justin Martin Pizza Pop-Up shop (yes Justin actually played at a pizza place, surprised it took this long).

The location was a perfect landscape for the event, nestled within downtown San Diego directly besides the famous Petco Ball Park; attendees got a taste of the San Diego skyline while they sipped on premium craft beer and cocktails made available. One of the most appealing tastes of the event was the amenities in the baseball stadium that were open to attendees, anything from restrooms to food stands was readily available and just a few minute walks away.image2

Photo by Miranda Mcdonald

The first night the roster had a strong lineup of deep house icons including Damian Lazarus who played his usual ethereal, dark and deep set. He even threw in some heavier bass-house tracks to start the day off with a little jolt for the crowd! Lane 8 followed suit and played favorites like his new remix of Innerbloom with some powerful, Anjunadeep ballads. The slower more intimate house was a nice break in between Damian’s and Justin’s set. The closing set of the night was definitely the crowd favorite, Justin Martin. He played an earthy mix of booty house mixed with some Night Bass hits that allowed for the energy to pick up and quickly filled the dance floor. He dropped a new single that was debuted at Dirtybird Campout as well as a remix of the classic “Simon Says” by Pharoahe Monc that really got the crowd going.

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Photo by Miranda Mcdonald

The second night came more big players, including UK acts Disclosure and Dusky. Hannah Wants also made an appearance playing her usual bass house bangers mixing in her popular singles and remixes. Dusky was one of the most anticipated acts and had a fantastic performance playing a mix of singles off of their new album, Outer as well as old favorites such as Skin Deep. Since their new album is so diverse and complex, the switch between slower, deeper house and heavier bass house kept the crowd intrigued from beginning to end. Disclosure closed out the night playing off of their hit singles with some fresh new, unfamiliar tunes. Even without the instruments, the duo managed to pull off an impressive performance mixing strong vocals with even stronger house.

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Photo by Miranda Mcdonald

Groundwater set to embark on a mission of continuing to put San Diego on the map as a major player in the world of house and techno. The familiarity of the FNGRS CRSSD vibes that is translucent throughout all of their events made the event enjoyable for any music lover. The location, people and amenities were also clearly organized to accommodate the crowd side. All in all, the festival was a success and we hope to see it next year!