This year for me has felt as though I’ve experienced five years in one (and it’s still not over!!!). After almost 2 years of living in LA I feel I can finally call It my second home. This is due to many things of which I won't bore you with now but the most poignant is that the people I used to call my friends … I now call my family. They have become my shepherds on this splendid journey through life and I am eternally grateful for each and every one of them.
Two weeks ago we acquired a sweet little addition to our crew who would be attending his very first music festival. Being new to the group and still finding his feet in LA, he of course was struck with nervous anticipation. Festivals can be very overwhelming with all the music, colour and liberated energies but we assured him he would be safe with us. His name is Dobby. He has a turbulent and troubled past but is now living his life the way you’d expect any recently emancipated elf to live it. Leaning into fear and embracing the unknown. So let's dive into Dobby’s first festival experience!
It was the first time in months our tribe would all be in one place. With eager hearts, expectant souls and excitable minds we were reconvening at CRSSD festival San Diego.
Rising at the crack of dawn we piled into cars and began the road trip from LA to San Diego. The drive was made even more special with Dena talking us through ideas for the vibe she wanted to create for her DJ set which she’d be playing the next day. Getting an insight into the careful consideration that goes into ensuring the crowd are taken on a journey was so special. I love learning more about my clever friends’ crafts and having a peek through their creative lens. Never disappoints.
After a good feed at Café Gratitude, some immunity shots and a solid hour playing with make-up we were ready for take off!
CRSSD is one of my favourite festivals. It’s right on the water with pirate ships and palm trees on one side, a water fountain and the San Diego city scape on the other. It’s a small and super comfortable festival. Walking on lush green grass, the people are friendly and its super easy to navigate between the three stages. It is impossible to get lost!
As soon as we got there we were off. Dancing, laughing, catching up on lost time and smiling the truest of smiles. Quite a few of us have had a few tough hurdles to overcome recently so to have a weekend to escape, reflect, release and reset was precisely the medicine we needed. The belly laughs and boogies were huge!
As the sun was setting leaving us with a breath-taking pastel skyline to admire, it was time to get ready for the much anticipated Rufus Du Sol set at the Mainstage. It was the first time the boys were solo headlining a festival in North America and it was nothing short of phenomenal. We wanted nothing more than to be able to appreciate the hard work (not to mention the heart and soul) that goes into making their show so special. That meant finding a place we could hear their live musical genius, see them strut the stage, experience the incredible light show and visuals AND have enough room to boogie and not be squished. Dena and I are 5’4”. We had our work cut out for us. In a crowd of 15000 these were very high … some might say totally unrealistic expectations BUT through sheer determination we managed to find the perfect spot. Where there’s a will theres’ a way! The show was spectacular. They had changed the intro from the last time I saw them and added Imaginary Air to the set which was absolutely spellbinding.
Watching people you love and admire, doing what they were put on this earth to do whilst bringing so much joy to a sea of people is so inspiring. Our family, connected with thousands of people through the music, through the light, through the boogie. This is of upmost importance especially now when the world is hurting in so many ways. There is nothing more valuable than a moment where a group of strangers, from all walks of life can be brought together to find peace, joy, love and connection. Big love to the boys who spend their lives no matter how tough it gets spreading happiness and hope across the world.
They finished. We celebrated. Then it was time to hit the hay ready for Denas Sunday set!
Rise and shine Margarita time! Sunday fun-day kicked off at 2pm for the unforgettable Dena Amy set at Palms stage. SHE WAS FIRE! Our dear friend Alex said “Issi is in her element at Dena's sets” it’s true. Her set is my happy place. She played a tribal house inspired set. You could not even try to deny your body the boogie! She has a serious gift. Lifting spirits, captivating the crowd and taking them on a full body and soul journey where you walk away feeling like you can conquer the world. Midway through her set, out of nowhere a fireworks display over the San Diego water spread the sky with colour. It was insane. Looking around there was not a face without a smile ear to ear. Sunday was also the debut of her merchandise brought to you by her Tour Manager (and our good chum) Matt and Dena herself. Luxe peachy satin kimonos. Say no more.
The rest of the day was spent dancing, embracing and soaking up all the special people we’ve become surrounded by.
It really was an unforgettable weekend. Amongst the festivities and frivolities of the festival were honest human to human chats and connections. With the busy lives we all live it's easy to forget to stop and really talk...really listen. A weekend away from the concerns of career and the world. To lay everything out on the table, release and reset. Then walk back into everyday life feeling invigorated, appreciated and inspired. CRSSD came at the perfect time for all of us. Keep you're eyes on the CRSSD page to be ready for the 2018 editions! We'll be there for sure!
May the good times roll!
Ps. As you can see from the snaps … Dobby had quite the festival experience. He’s solidified his place in our fam and currently on tour with the Rufus Du Sol boys living his best life. After the content he created at CRSSD festival he gained 1200 followers in 24hrs. Check out the Rufus instagram to see if they're coming to your hometown so you can experience the magic and perhaps have a chance encounter with Dobby!
Follow @dobbyadventures to follow and support his journey of elf-discovery.
Pps. Release of Denas Kimono merch coming soon!
Peace + Love