It is that time of the year again. The Electronic Music Festival, CRSSD brings in thousands of fans to Waterfront Park. The event happens twice a year and Little Italy residents say the crowds, the noise and the substance abuse from festival-goers can be a problem.
Christy Spinella works for one of the local restaurants near Waterfront Park. “We definitely prepare our staff for an influx of reasons - a different clientele than we’re used to,” said Spinella. She prepped the waiters for a week. ”We tell them in the restaurant, ‘Make sure you’re carding every person who walks in the door. Make sure you’re aware of how much you’re serving, because you don’t know what they were doing before they got here.”
This year’s line-up is bringing in 50 artists and DJ’s to the heart of Waterfront Park on March 4th and 5th. It is the fourth year event organizers have rented out the park. Back in 2015, the county of San Diego reported the damage from the festival was estimated at about 64,000 dollars.
Event organizers paid the cost of the repairs. The group rented out the park for 33,000 dollars- that is nearly a third of the revenue the county makes a year through private events at the park.
Anthony Ciacciarelli says the event is good for business in Little Italy. “I was just going to Rite Aid for example,” said Ciacciarelli. “I literally walked out of Rite Aid because I didn’t want to wait in line, right? Because the line was so long.”
Brian Myers who works at the Ariel Luxury Apartments explained the noise is concerning. “I have PTSD,” said Myers. “I don’t really like the noise, I need peace and quiet.”