When EDC broke up with Los Angeles in the summer of 2010, she left a hole in our hearts. It wasn’t easy to let her go. She was so beautiful, and LA was her home. But deep down, we knew that it was time for her to move on. The romance was over. She needed to discover who she was outside of our relationship. Her new boyfriend, Las Vegas, would would care for her, inspire her, and give her everything she needed to grow into the festival she dreamed of becoming. When we visited EDC Vegas in 2011, we were amazed by her progress. She’d grown up so much. We were happy for her. Deep down, though, we knew that we still missed her. She’d always be our first love.
But there was another pretty young festival in town. Her name was HARD Summer, and we’d always thought she was kind of cute. She was a little edgier and forward-thinking than EDC. Her father, Gary Richards, had raised her differently. Gary didn’t want HARD wearing kandi or hanging out with teenagers wearing pacifiers. He wanted her to become a proper music festival, a place where music lovers could celebrate their favorite artists and discover infatuating new talent. He wanted HARD Summer to create the LA music scene of tomorrow.
HARD Summer and Dancing Astronaut went out on our first date in 2011. She blew us away. It was the finest one-day festival we had ever experienced. She refused to be defined by genre or convention. She showed us things we didn’t know were possible. Dillon Francis and Nadastrom moved us with moombahton. Odd Future had us scared for our lives. Digitalism fused live instrumentation and DJ mixing for a sensual sonic sine wave that we will never forget. Ratatat made us feel happy about feeling sad. Boys Noize filled us with furious energy. James Murphy & Pat Mahoney, formerly of LCD Soundsystem, took us directly to 1972 with the funkiest DJ set we have ever seen.
Gary Richards/Destructo, the man behind it all, has a new motto this year: ‘Trust me. This is our fifth year, and I think by now we’ve shown the fans we bring the big names and we introduce the newest of the new every time. We want people to know that we’re so confident about this event that you can start making plans. Book your hotel, pick your outfits, reserve a car because there’s no doubt this is going to be the music event of the summer.”
We do trust him. This year, the festival will expand to two days: Friday, August 3rd and Saturday, August 4th. You should buy your tickets here. $99 for a two-day event is well worth it, particularly when it’s put together with such thoughtfulness, effort, and style. Sure, EDC might be gone, but HARD Summer is proving that the future looks much brighter than the past.