HARD Summer and HARD Haunted: The Full Review

Hard Summer is the best place to hear and experience the hottest new acts in electronic dance music.

hard summer

Over the past three years the electronic dance music genre has moved out of warehouses and raves and into the mainstream. Artists like Skrillex, Deadmau5 and Diplo have popularized the music genre which was once only relegated for “candy kids” and fans of the drug ecstasy.  Due to the genre’s new found popularity several large festivals have sprouted up. There is the Electric Daisy Carnival in several different cities, Ultra Music Festival in Miami Florida, and Together as One in Las Vegas. All of these are great festivals but my favorite is the Hard Present’s series including Hard Summer, Hard Haunted, and Holy Ship!

Hard Summer, which takes place on August 3 and 4th in the Los Angeles State Historic Park,   has been going strong for the past 5 years and is the place to be if you want to hear where the genre is headed. Before Deadmau5 and Skrillex were house hold names they both headlined a Hard Event. I remember seeing Skrillex in a relatively small crowd back in 2011. Hard always seems to catch the trends in EDM right before they break into the mainstream. In 2010 they featured a largely dubstep lineup, in 2011 promoters really pushed the then infant sub-genre  Moombahton , at Hard Haunted in November I saw Baauer before he gained viral success with his track, “Harlem Shake”.  The event in August features a line-up filled with the newest crazes in EDM the genres “Future House” as well as Baauer’s forte “Trap Music “.  Whenever you head to a new festival there are a lot of things you might not now about here is my guide to making the most out of your Hard Experience.

What’s the crowd like?

The demographic of Hard events is usually college aged fans of the EDM genre. You must be 18 to attend the festival and the event really is geared towards the more youthful generation. Hard Events do  not usually  have the same amount of “frat boys” or generally agro dudes that you see at Coachella or EDC.

What Music Should I Expect to Hear?

The music at Hard Summer is a mixture between straight up good old fashioned EDM and techno music as well as more mainstream dance music and hip hop acts. This year features the  Skrillex and Boys Noize  collaborative project Dog Blood, Knife Party, and nu-disco giants Duck Sauce. 2 Chainz and Azealia Banks lead the hip-hop front while future house record labels Ed Banger and Dirty Bird both have their own tents.

Weather at HARD Summer

Hard Summer is held in August so I would suggest your basic summer clothes. So for guys shorts and a tank top.  For the  most ladies can even just wear a bathing suit if they are feeling up to it. The festival does not get scorching hot but it’s a good idea to drink a lot of water before getting inside because water bottles cost about $4 a pop.

Are HARD Summer VIP Tickets Worth It?

With only a few days left to purchase your tickets, you might be wondering, are HARD Summer VIP tickets worth it? We can answer that one for you.

Although the team at HARD does an incredible organizing the festival, VIP tickets are almost worth their modest price alone for the ability to skip the General Admission lines. If you don’t arrive early to the festival, expect to be moved slowly through the security line over the course of 45 minutes to an hour.

Our editors say yes!

Food and Drink at HARD Summer

Hard events at the LA historic park are some the best for amenities. Last year there were three separate beer gardens serving light beer, spirits, and wine. Additionally, there are different local food trucks that serve up Mexican food and other fares. I ate a bean burrito after dancing for five hours and I have never been so satiated. The bathroom situation isn’t that great but whatever you’re at a rave! After the show grabs some drinks at on of my favorite dive bars.

Drugs at HARD Summer

The drug culture is alive and well here with HARD Summer. We’re not here to advocate partaking, as much as acknowledging its undeniable presence. Remember never to take more than you can handle — if you’re unsure about any drug, don’t risk a bad trip.

This is also the opportunity for some of you to share your own stories and experiences.

“I remember the first time I saw Dillon Francis was when he opened the Harder stage at HARD Summer 2010. I was rolling so hard I couldn’t even open my eyes. I was just dancing and jumping around. I looked up and saw Dillon Francis just loving the crowd. It was intense.” – Sam L.