HARD Summer season and Insomniac Occasions made their triumphant return to town of Los Angeles this previous weekend. It was the primary full scale digital music competition to be held within the metropolis in a decade; the primary since HARD Summer season final came about at LA State Historic Park in 2013.
Town has been warming up for this; Kaskade and deadumau5 performed a full present on the Coliseum final December, and Insomniac has been internet hosting occasions at “The Torch”, the Coliseum’s northeast entrance. Nevertheless, this was the primary multi-day competition to be held on the Exposition Park grounds since EDC again in 2010. General, the weekend was an enormous success and is hopefully the runway for extra Los Angeles-based occasions. Since this was a totally new setup, there’s lots to get into.
The Competition Format
HARD Summer season has been on the acquainted NOS Occasions Middle the previous two years, and it occupied the Fontana Speedway, three of the 4 years previous to that. Insomniac went completely big with the competition format for the return to Los Angeles. The HARD stage occupied the complete space behind each the Coliseum and the BMO Stadium, with MLK Blvd working alongside the south finish of the competition.
Headliners may stroll into each of the aforementioned venues and never solely simply entry the ground, however simply chill and sit within the bountiful grandstands that each stadiums supplied. The HARD stage was the very first place headliners walked in and having access to the Inexperienced (Coliseum), Purple (BMO Stadium) and Pink levels was tremendous simple. Getting from HARD to HARDer was a bit of little bit of a stroll, nevertheless, nobody acquired misplaced right here. VIP headliners additionally acquired entry to an unimaginable air-conditioned space inside BMO. No bottlenecks, simple to maneuver round, 9/10.
It’s powerful to check the HARD stage to levels at festivals like EDC or Tomorrowland which all have very distinctive themes. Through the years, what’s made HARD distinctive is that it actually doesn’t have any kind of aesthetic, aside from yard summer time BBQ, nevertheless, that doesn’t imply that HARD doesn’t have spectacular manufacturing. In truth, the HARDer, Inexperienced and Purple levels all had mind-blowing manufacturing. The HARDer stage sort of resembled the Extremely Europe stage. The stage was divided into two horizontal rows of video panels extending outwards and curving inwards behind the DJ sales space. Rows of lights illuminated the columns in between the LED panels. Getting up shut, you bought completely misplaced within the stage design.
The Inexperienced stage contained in the Coliseum had a fully huge scope. The stage featured a sq. video panel border extending out and getting larger in three totally different rounds of panels. Lasers and pyro made the stage come alive at night time, and being inside the large Coliseum gave the Inexperienced stage a scope that the HARDer stage didn’t have.
Similar for the Purple Stage contained in the BMO, which is a model new, world class stadium. The stage featured huge diamond formed video boards protruding out into the gang. The primary video board behind the stage showcased all of the insanity that was happening. For Diplo b2b Blond:ish, they even had a basketball hoop arrange for every DJ to shoot free throws on while the opposite one spun. Perhaps one of many biggest setups I’ve ever seen.
Whereas the HARD stage was huge, it lacked the grandness and creativity of the opposite levels. It was the identical trapezoidal design that’s featured every of the previous couple years at NOS. I like the crimson and the added lasers had been a lot appreciated, however, at a stage the place the common headliner was most likely actually far-off from the stage, it felt small. The sound was not impeccable both.
Metro got here in clutch
If you happen to’re a veteran SoCal raver like me, you’re most likely very aware of that dreadful drive from LA to San Bernardino. It may well strategy two hours, in case you’re like me, you’re staying at a Motel 6 or Consolation Inn someplace within the Inland Empire, it’s lots to get on the market for a two or three day competition. This 12 months it seems that native headliners overwhelmingly took benefit of public transportation and took the Metro to Downtown Los Angeles. For $3.50 a day you rode perhaps 30-45 minutes fear free to and from the venue. No trying to find parking, no costly rideshares; in case you didn’t take the Metro all the way down to the competition…properly, kudos to you for spending pointless cash. And, though it was sizzling in DTLA, low 90’s, it was nothing like San Bernardino, which skilled triple digit warmth each days of the weekend.
There’s by no means actually been a foul HARD lineup, HARD has all the time been recognized for having a few of the most eclectic and distinctive lineups throughout all festivals. There are all the time HARD stalwarts like Diplo, Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, nevertheless, this 12 months, the competition went in on distinctive b2bs and appealed to the older millennial in all of us. Kaskade b2b John Summit and Skrillex b2b 4 Tet had been the headliners this 12 months. One distinction between HARD and different Insomniac festivals, greatest consider there’s a designated headliner.
Hip-hop was additionally properly represented with 21 Savage and Child Cudi every taking up the Purple Stage. Early 2000s favorites Fats Joe and Ludacris additionally carried out. Ludacris’s efficiency was notable as he completely packed out the HARDer stage. Seemingly each millennial in Los Angeles was there. Disco was additionally strongly represented on the competition with Yung Bae on the HARD stage and Jungle on the Purple stage. You by no means know who shall be headlining HARD, however you understand it’ll all the time be good.
Areas the Might Use Some Enchancment
Alright it’s come to that point the place I’ve to name some issues out. On this case, there have been solely two issues that stood out to me, however they stood out huge time. Clearly, there’s going to be rising pains with a brand new competition location, however these have to be addressed.
First, the bottleneck on the entrance. Whereas there was nothing improper with strolling down Invoice Robertson Ln from the Metro cease, or wherever you might have parked, there have been mainly 2 VIP entrances and eight GA entrances to the complete competition. That’s a fraction of what’s normally accessible at NOS Occasions Middle or beforehand on the Fontana Speedway had been there have been a number of entrances. It was fully unorganized entering into the venue and I’m certain loads of folks simply walked previous the hearty employees who had been wristbanding. Perhaps open up extra entrances on MLK Blvd? However, there must be extra room for ingress and a extra orderly approach to get wristbanded.
Second, the VIP part on the HARDer stage. It’s powerful to complain about any VIP space, in spite of everything, you’re there. However, in case you paid for HARD VIP and spent any first rate period of time on the HARDer stage, you had been vastly dissatisfied. The pool was small and crowded, and equally to the entrances there have been mainly six bars serving the complete VIP space; for sure the traces weren’t precisely transferring easily. I perceive that house was restricted on the occasion, however the HARDer VIP part didn’t dwell as much as expectations.
That’s just about that on HARD Summer season Los Angeles 2023. Regardless of a few missteps, the competition was an awesome success. Fingers crossed that HARD maintains its residence right here in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. Nothing has been introduced but, however keep tuned to Insomniac’s socials for future updates.