[EVENT REVIEW] HARD Summer 2023 Exceeds Expectations In New Los Angeles Venue

HARD Summer Review 2023

| August 11, 2023

In the aftermath of HARDfest’s flagship festival, HARD Summer, which took place on August 5-6 in Los Angeles, iEDM has the scoop on the overall experience of the festival in its new home. HARDfest and HARDrecs have become integral elements under Insomniac's umbrella of assets, providing top-of-the-line events and music releases, the largest being their annual HARD Summer festival.

HARD Summer has taken place in a variety of locations in Southern California throughout its history, most notably at the Fontana Raceway and NOS Events Center, but in 2023 graduated to several Downtown Los Angeles venues including the LA Memorial Coliseum and BMO Stadium.

HARD Summer Review 2023
Hosting five stages in separate venues was an ostentatious feat, causing many fans to approach the event with uncertainty. However, Insomniac was able to pull off the layout even better than expected. With the PURPLE and GREEN stages nestled within the Memorial Coliseum and BMO Stadium, creating an amphitheater layout with seating and shady areas for additional comfort.

The remaining three stages were placed in the flat, open space between the stadiums. Although some expressed concern about travel time between stages, the distance was not nearly as extreme as expected. Walking back and forth across the festival was relatively easy, besides the occasional traffic that was most severe preceding the headline sets.

Although the venue provided ample space for all attendees, some stages became overcrowded for highly-anticipated sets because the crowds concentrated at a singular stage. For example, the VIP section within the HARD stage was very spacious all weekend, but reached capacity during the Kaskade b2b John Summit set. This caused a relatively chaotic situation in which the VIP entrance was closed, but hundreds of VIP pass holders were attempting to enter, which caused some unnecessary confusion and crowding.

The Coliseum or BMO Stadium might have been more suited for the mainstage due to the plentiful seating, however the small entrances and stairs may have been a danger in the case of thousands of fans rushing to headline sets. Besides the trouble with VIP at Kaskade b2b John Summit, the stages were strategically placed and offered enough space for everyone to find a comfortable area to dance.

HARD Summer Review 2023
Based on their past several festivals, Insomniac has been directing more effort towards enhancing the VIP elevated experience, and HARD Summer was no exception. The highlights of the elevated experience included pools with cabanas at the HARDER stage, an indoor air-conditioned bar and lounge within the PURPLE stage, and extra shade, candy, and sunglasses throughout. The extra amenities and conveniences made the VIP experience even more enjoyable and worth the more expensive price point.

Although HARD Summer was filled with wonderful attractions and art installations, the primary draw to the event was the stacked lineup. Some of iEDM’s favorite acts included LUUDE, Hamdi, and Netsky for their energetic DnB flow. Disco Lines set BMO Stadium alight with his infectious house anthems, solidifying his artistic growth and increasing popularity following the release of his smash-hit, “Techno + Tequila”. 

SAYMYNITTI also stunned the crowd with an electrifying and diverse set that included a multitude of genres such as electro, riddim, techno, and drum ‘n’ bass. Finally, the headline Skrillex b2b Four Tet performance was satisfying for long-time fans and new listeners alike. The dynamic duo filled 90 minutes with new music, Quest for Fire hits, and Four Tet’s unexpected riddim inclusions.

Interestingly, the visuals backing the artists were almost vlog-style live footage of people on stage including a FaceTime appearance of Fred Again.., as well as drone shots of the crowd. HARD Summer’s lineup delivered top-tier performances that made the weekend a spectacular experience.

HARD Summer Review 2023
Overall, Insomniac Events put together another stellar event with very few issues with respect to its magnitude. As usual, Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella addressed the most common complaints and expressed future plans to rectify any issues in his post-HARD Summer Instagram post on Thursday.

Considering the scale of the festival, Insomniac Events and HARDfest produced an event that was extremely successful in terms of operations, music, and sales. All HARD Summer staff and musicians should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments in Los Angeles throughout the weekend.



Photos courtesy of HARDfest and Insomniac Events

 

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Paije Kantor

PAIJE KANTOR

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Native to Long Beach, California, Paije has been in love with dance music since childhood, which blossomed into a love for its community and events later on. Over time, she has become a dedicated fan of all EDM subgenres, with a special affinity for industrial and melodic techno, dubstep and riddim, electro house and trance, and DnB.

Paije recently graduated with a B.S. in geology and paleontology and spends her free time searching for new additions to her collection of playlists, watching history documentaries, researching obscure topics, and attempting to keep up with her husky’s energy.

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