The HARD Summer festival will return to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for a second year, organizers have confirmed. This year's edition of the popular electronic music festival, which is celebrating its 10th year, will take place over the weekend of Aug. 5-6. The lineup has yet to be announced.
The return to the Speedway is in some ways a victory for the festival, which since its inception has taken place in no fewer than six different venues. Although some of those moves have been because of the festival's rapid growth, others were prompted at least in part by the drug-related deaths of attendees, including one in 2014 at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and two in 2015 at the Fairplex in Pomona. Another three deaths in the immediate wake of last year's HARD Summer appeared to cast the festival's future in doubt yet again, especially after founder Gary Richards revealed that HARD Summer's fall companion festival, HARD Day of the Dead, would not take place in 2016.
But apparently, some understanding has been reached between HARD, the Speedway and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, and the show will go on at the 500-acre venue, which last year drew an estimated crowd of 146,000 over two days.
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This year's edition of HARD Summer is being billed as the HARD 10-Year Celebration, in honor of the festival's inception as a New Year's Eve street party in 2007. That first event, which featured Justice, Steve Aoki, Peaches and 2 Live Crew, set the template for every HARD event since, all of which have eschewed the usual EDM festival vibes in favor of an edgier mix of hip-hop, live electronic acts and both mainstream and underground dance music.
"We have the best music fans out there and we're working hard to do more for them," Richards said via a press release. "We're also working very closely with the production team on improvements to the overall festival experience at the track. From the lineup to production to mobility, it is the goal of this festival to improve and enhance the overall experience at HARD Summer's 10-Year Anniversary."
The festival's full lineup and ticket on-sale dates will be announced at HardFest.com, and L.A. Weekly will continue to report more details on this year's festival as they become available.