HARD Summer Music Festival Brings Big Talent To Los Angeles
HARD drew some of electro music's top artists, both international and hometown favorites. British house music duo Jack Beats stunned listeners with edgy, wobbling bass lines while Los Angeles native Skrillex blasted his hard-hitting dubstep grind later in the night.
New York group Ratatat brought their instrumental indie electronic sound to the festival. The American-Canadian pair of Armin Van Helden and A-Trak, better known as Duck Sauce, served up some heavy disco house beats for their fans, including their 2010 international hit “Barbra Streisand.”
German DJ Alexander Ridha, known by the stage name Boys Noize, showed off with some hard-hitting heavy electro beats as the last act on the “HARD” stage.
Drum and bass Dutch trio Noisia tore up the “HARDER” stage with their experimental drum n’ bass style. They were chosen as Best Producers at the 2010 D&B Arena Awards, as well as Best Drum & Bass Artist in 2010 on the popular electronic music downloading site BeatPort. London-based drum and bass sensation Nero followed suit, adding live vocals and tons of energy to keep the crowd going. The duo was recently announced as nominees for BBC’s "Sound of 2011" poll, which aims to find every year’s next new rising musical talent. Recent winners include Mika, Adele, Little Boots and Ellie Goulding.
A long line of ambulances and heavy police presence greeted ticket holders in the city’s effort to run the event smoothly. HARD or “Hardfest,” the music promotion company responsible for organizing the HARD raves, had pre-planned for police and emergency response crews to be stationed throughout the park and surrounding areas months before the event day.
Safety was a main concern at an electronic event of this magnitude after the incident at the 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival at the USC Coliseum where a fifteen-year-old died of an apparent drug overdose. EDC is put together by Insomniac, another rave promoter that is responsible for the Nocturnal and Beyond Wonderland events. With a temporary ban on any future rave contracts at the LA Coliseum, EDC has found a new home at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Despite having about 230,000 people show up to the rave over 3 days, no deaths were reported at the event.
Unfortunately, the night was still not without its difficulties. Of the thirty-one rave-goers requiring medical attention, sixteen were reportedly taken to local hospitals for injuries and illnesses. Los Angeles police also arrested seventeen people at the event, mainly for ingesting illegal substances.
Successfully, there were no accounts of any deaths at HARDfest this year: good news for a city trying to restore its reputation as the hub of electronic music culture and a worthy location for big raves.
Reach writer Sarah Webb here