San Bernardino, CA – As a 3rd year attendee of HARD Summer, one of the most popular music festivals in the SoCal region, the anticipation of the 2017 event was palpable. Given that it was its 10th year anniversary, we knew that this year’s line-up would bring out the big guns. Hard Summers founder, Gary Richards p/k/a “Destructo”, doesn’t play around when it comes to attaining top-notch talent for his events. Year after year, he consistently manages to blow festival goers away with an exceptionally curated lineup every year. This year’s killer lineup, new venue, and anxious conversations of eagerness with friends set the tone for the festival.
The LA-based event brand had its inception in 2007 with the first ever “HARD Event” taking place on New Year’s eve, boasting such acts like Justice, Peaches and 2 Live Crew. With past headliners such as Major Lazer, Ice Cube, Jack U, The Weeknd, it was no surprise when this year’s headliners Snoop Dogg and DJ Snake were announced. This year’s festival line-up forecasted an astounding experience, and it certainly lived up to all of the expectations.
One of my favorite things about HARD Summer has always been the fact that they host artists that perform extremely hard, or play certain genres of EDM and Hip-Hop that fans consider invigorating. This year certainly did not compromise that message. Every set was so on point and incredibly enjoyable. I truly felt like all the artists stepped up their game for HARD Summer’s 10-year anniversary.
Another favorite of mine was the throwback sets that some of these DJ’s played. This event wasn’t a Top 40, radio-friendly festival. The DJs aren’t expected to play the flavor-of-the-week tracks and they don’t, instead playing the tracks that they’re feeling, rather than simply playing to the crowd. That meant for lots of 2013 dubstep and trap throwbacks by the hip-hop and techno experts.
These vibes however had a bit of a bittersweet feeling to them as it was going to be the very last HARD event that still had Gary Richards name attached to it. Despite the fact that he built this brand from the ground up single handedly, his contract is up with Live Nation after they acquired the event back in 2012 and he won’t be signing back on. When news broke about the split, fans and artists didn’t take too kindly to it, especially when it was announced that Richards wouldn’t be in attendance during next year’s Holy Ship!, Hard Events cruise event. With a petition from fans of the event (which exceeded its 1000 signature goal) artists and other friends of Richards such Skrillex, Boys Noize and the Dirty Bird collective have publicly stated that they will no longer support the future of HARD events without its founder. Even the hash tags #NoGaryNoShip and #InGaryWeTrust began trending in light of the news. We’re not sure what’s going to happen with the future of HARD events or if will still hold true to its more cutting edge habit of bringing in new and diverse talent, but Richards himself is most certainly not down for the count as it’s been rumored that he will be teaming up with LiveStyle.
Although the HARD father himself was saying goodbye to the empire he created, it didn’t damper the energy of the festival. In some ways, you can say it even elevated it into a friendlier vibe and this 10 year anniversary weekend definitely paid tribute to what HARD has become with trending acts such as DJ Snake, Rae Sremmurd and Tinashe, and what it was in the very beginning with Justice, Busy P and Uffie. It does feel like the end of an era, but we’re excited to see what Hard Summer has in store for the SoCal region and there are definitely high hopes that Live Nation can keep this ship going without its captain.
Below is a list of the artists we were able to catch at HARD Summer. Keep it locked and bookmarked here for updates for when our coverage for each act goes up!
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BELOW ARE THE MUSICAL ACTS THAT BLURRED CULTURE WAS ABLE TO CATCH AT HARD SUMMER. CLICK THROUGH THE LINK TO READ OUR THOUGHTS AND CHECK OUT OUR PHOTOS!!!
CHARLI XCX [COMING SOON!]
SNAKEHIPS [COMING SOON!]
MIGOS [COMING SOON!]
DOG BLOOD [COMING SOON]
SNOOP DOGG [COMING SOON!]
…. AND MORE … ALL COMING SOON!