Hard happens a lot. The L.A.-based festival series spearheaded by Gary Richards does one-off events in Los Angeles and beyond year round, and their big events Day of the Dead and Hard Summer are highlights on the electronic festival circuit.
See also: The Worst of Hard Summer 2013
This weekend was Hard Summer, taking place at at Los Angeles State Historic Park in front of 70,000 people. Considering that tragedy cast a pall over the event, it was hard for many to enjoy themselves. But there were still a number of highlights, and here's the best of what went down:
Not only was it possible to take the Metro to Chinatown for the event, festival goers got to ride for free. As such, riders able to avoid the clusterfuck of trying to park downtown. Who knew? It's actually possible to maneuver through Los Angeles on public transit.
Usually the ladies are the stars of the dance floor, but this dance move, which is done almost exclusively by men, is a scene stealer. Basically the shuffle is a move that involves a lot of toe tappin', some side steppin', knee jerking and kicking and gliding around. We asked one guy how to do it and all he could say was, "You've just got to feel it." His instructions also included "work your toe game" and the implication that being on drugs while doing so is helpful.
Best cheap laugh: Overhearing people trying to pronounce the name of French producer Gesaffelstein (and trying to pronounce it ourselves) did not get old. "Is it like, Gah-seff-ul-steen? Gu-shefull-steyn? Ga-fall-stuh-feen?" (Word on the street is that it's "GRR-saff-ell-STINE".)
The man whose real name is Sonny Moore has a reputation for being one of the nicest guys in the scene, and his music has pushed boundaries as he's risen through the ranks to the top of the Hard lineup. Appearing this year with Dog Blood, his collaboration with Boys Noize, Skrillex once again whipped the masses into a relentless dub-induced frenzy.
The Melting Pot
HARD is basically a microcosm of the Los Angeles youth market, and the 18+ event was populated by hipsters, club kids, UCLA kids, USC kids, community college kids, eastsiders, westsiders, inland empirers and yes, even a few people over the age of 30. Plus, most everyone was courteous, friendly and quick to lend you some sunscreen.
The British nu-disco producer inspired one of Saturday's biggest dance parties in the Underground tent. Arguably any DJ aspires to play a set where the audience is dancing so hard that they're not even facing the stage and no one is on their phone. That's exactly what was happening during this set.
Carnival rides: A touch of EDC (back) in downtown L.A. And they were free!
The Los Angeles State Historic Park: The ease of accessibility via the Metro, the spacious layout, the urban ambiance of the metro breezing by the Harder stage, the unbeatable views of the downtown L.A. skyline... all serve to make the Chinatown park one of best venues in town for a festival.
Food vendor empanadas
Cheap, warm, delicious. The snack of choice to carry one through the 9pm slump, especially when bathed in chimichurri. (The empanadas, not us.)
And relatively short lines to get it. As it should be.
Daytime temperatures were perfectly suited for underdressed outdoor revelry, and although temps dipped towards the chilly end after dark, the cool breeze was a welcome refreshment when emerging from the sweaty throngs.
Flosstradamus Only in the trap genre are "grimy, dirty and nasty" the proper adjectives for describing something awesome. In this vein, the Chicago-based duo's Sunday night set on the Harder stage was totally disgusting.
A lots of trap, some funk, disco, EDM, IDM, loads of bass and a balance of revered old school acts and underground up and comers, Hard offers something on every shade of the electro-spectum. Word.
See also: The Worst of Hard Summer 2013
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