Live Nation Entertainment, the American entertainment behemoth formed by the merger of concert promoter Live Nation and ticketing company Ticketmaster, has acquired HARD events, the Los Angeles-based promoter behind events such as HARD Summer, HARD Haunted Mansion, and Holy Ship!
Earlier this year, Live Nation purchased beloved British brand Cream Holdings, which runs superclubs in Liverpool and Ibiza and also puts on the legendary Creamfields festivals. The HARD purchase will add to that growing conglomerate. It’s the latest stream in a flood of cash flowing into the dance music industry . Earlier this year, media magnate Robert F.X. Sillerman announced a plan to spend $1 billion in the hopes of creating an EDM empire.
Gary Richards, HARD’s founder and C.E.O., said Tuesday that the decision would allow him to expand the brand. ““I’m always going to fight the good fight,” he told the New York Times. The reason I’m different from other festivals is that I bring the new thing, develop it and bring it to the masses. This will only be able to help, because now instead of just L.A. and New York, I will be able to do this in South Africa, South America. It’s only a good thing.”
In April, Richards, who also DJs under the stage name Destructo, expressed concern at the infusion of corporate money into the EDM world. “You can’t just franchise this like McDonald’s,” he told the Times. “I’ve been working in this for 20 years and nobody cared. Now it’s so massive that everybody wants a piece of it… I have been approached by all the big boys you can imagine.”
Financial details of the acquisition have not been released, but it appears that Richards has finally found an investor he can work with. HARD Summer, scheduled for August 3rd and 4th at Los Angeles State Historic Park, will not be affected by the purchase.