All My Friends Seeks To Bring Intimacy Back To Bass Drops Destructo Sets Up Shop In DTLA For New Music Festival Venture
LOS ANGELES, CA- I’m always in awe of people who leave a good thing to pursue their passions. Gary Richards, who performs as Destructo, is someone who fits that mold.
Gary’s resume is something else. He produced and basically created Electric Daisy Carnival; he’s the president of LiveStyle; he owns a record label and his largest move was the founder, CEO and curated the electronic music mainstay HARD Events, which was acquired by Live Nation in 2012 and soon evolved into a mega concert event that hosts over a hundred thousand of guests during any of their weekends.
But the enormous success of the HARD Events seemed to lack the original spirit that got Gary’s electronic music juices flowing in the first place. In an interview with the Daily News, Gary stated:
“Being able to start something new from scratch after all those years of experience is really good, because, you know, Hard got to this level where it was just too big, just massive […] But to be able to go back to downtown and not be in San Bernardino…it’s much more intimate, much more boutique, it’s actually going to have a much more of a feel like the first Hard when we were in downtown and we closed off streets,”
Having severed ties with Live Nation, and selecting ROW DTLA as the venue for his passions, Destructo has set up shop in the industrial sector of DTLA to bring back the “intimate” vibes that his early days were filled with, with enough music to have you dancing your ass off until the plugs were pulled.
His new festival venture has been dubbed All My Friends, and “is about good times with good friends and even better music” and this year featured three stages that featured headline acts which included RL Grime, Gucci Mane, Jhene AIko, M.I.A. and Jamie xx.
While the anticipated attendance of 10,000 guests per day is considerably less than the 100,000 guests per day that HARD typically draws, the smaller, less congested crowds were truly a godsend. There wasn’t a single moment when I had to fight through crowds, or worry about having beer getting spilled on me. There was plenty of room for fans to dance their hearts and asses away, and with the stages relatively close to each other, there was no reason to miss a single act unless their sets times overlapped.
The aesthetics of the festival were decent. The handful of art installations displayed were visually striking and the stages themselves were were pretty dope. I did feel, however, that there could have been better use of the immediate area. While I’m not to familiar with what kind of liability and insurance issues would need to be addressed, I always kept looking towards the huge parking structure that seemed to be only half filled. If you really wanted to give the festival a DIY feel, setting up a few DJs on the floors of the parking structure would have been a “new” approach to festivaling that I think could have been extremely intriguing.
I was also surprised with how strict security was, especially upon entering the festival. Let me first state that I absolutely appreciate all that security does to keep us all safe throughout the day. I was, however, shocked that they made me throw away my nicotine refill for my e-cigarette. That was 8 dollars that I certainly didn’t want to just throw away. They also confiscated, using drug sniffing dogs, any “contraband” that may have been tucked away in your pockets or backpack … but is weed really still contraband?
Overall, I think Destructo’s post Live Nation event was a success. I think he really gave Los Angeles a dance-centric music festival that really brings back some of the intimacy that huge festivals nowadays lacks. There may be a few essential kinks that still need to be worked out, but like anything I can only imagine that it will only get better with time.