HARD was based in 2007 by Gary Richards, aka Destructo, and commenced as a New Yr’s Eve social gathering in downtown Los Angeles. Through the years, it’s discovered its house in lots of venues as a touring competition, in addition to the flagship occasion, which has occupied seven completely different venues previously decade, together with its present house at NOS Occasions Heart in San Bernardino.
As we method HARD Summer time Music Competition later this month, which expands to three days for the primary time ever, Your EDM has endeavored to rank our favourite HARD lineups over time. As a notice, as a result of it can come up, this rating is solely subjective — there’s no means a rating like this couldn’t be — and everybody’s picks for favourite occasion/12 months are equally legitimate.
With that, let’s get right down to it. For the needs of this rating, we’ll be wanting on the 24 flagship HARD occasions from 2007 to 2021: HARD Haunted Mansion (4), HARD Day of the Lifeless (6), and HARD Summer time (14).
9. HARD Summer time 2012
HARD had already develop into properly established as a tastemaker competition, however this one deserves to start out the checklist for a couple of causes. On the prime of the checklist is the primary ever headline set for Skrillex after he’d performed HARD Summer time and Haunted Mansion the 12 months prior.
Sadly, one among my nice regrets is I didn’t attend this 12 months, lacking out on in all probability my solely probability to see Magnetic Man, the epic dubstep tremendous group made from Skream, Benga, and Paintings.
The second 12 months at LA State Historic Park, the competition grounds had been extra fleshed out and simpler to navigate with 4 phases. You possibly can see acquainted names like Motion Bronson at virtually the underside of the lineup, in addition to Idiot’s Gold co-founder Nick Catchdubs, Birdy Nam Nam, Oliver, and Nick Thayer.
Nero continues to be a mainstay of the competition, in addition to Boys Noize, Bloody Beetroots, Chromeo, Zedd, and Dillon Francis. You can too spot a uncommon DJ set from LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy on day 2.
8. HARD Day of the Lifeless 2015
HARD Day of the Lifeless 2015 is notable for being the primary flagship HARD occasion to implement a 21+ age restrict because of the unlucky deaths of two attendees at HARD Summer time earlier within the 12 months.
“It’s the second time county officers have known as for a brief ban on raves in lower than 5 years,” reported SGV Tribune.
The competition felt noticeably extra empty than its predecessors with out the standard just-out-of-high-school summer season graduating class occupying the competition grounds in late July earlier than they put together to hurry off to varsity. Nonetheless, performances from Deadmau5, Nero, Flying Lotus, Skrillex, Gesaffelstein, Kill The Noise, and a really early set from Marshmello gave the distinctive circumstances some true legendary standing.
7. HARD Summer time 2008
The primary official HARD Summer time ever, as it could come to be recognized. Digital music, on the time, didn’t have so many world superstars because it does now, however that didn’t imply a lot to names like Steve Aoki, A-Trak, Kill The Noise, The Bloody Beetroots, and Jason Bentley who’d been deep within the scene for some time already.
And if you wish to be much more impressed by these at HARD who guide the lineups, MSTRKRFT was booked in a headline slot a full 12 months earlier than they broke out with “Heartbreaker” that includes John Legend.
That’s not even mentioning the completely wild reserving of N*E*R*D, the Pharrell Williams-fronted hip hop and rock group.
On the time, HARD was nonetheless being held on the Shrine Expo Corridor, which has a most capability of round 5,500 individuals. A far cry from the 70,000+ that now go to the competition every day.
6. HARD Haunted Mansion 2010
The 2010 iteration of HARD Haunted Mansion was really, actually, insane. For the reason that lineup posted is kind of scattered, let’s go over all of the names (keep in mind, that is 2010):
Calvin Harris, Nero, Underworld, Boys Noize, Erol Alkan, Rusko, SBTRKT, AC Slater, A-Trak, Faux Blood, Jack Beats, Tommy Lee & DJ Aero, plus a mini Ed Banger takeover with Busy P, Brodinski, Mr. Oizo, and SebastiAn.
For simply sooner or later of music, you’ll possible should sincerely lower each set in half to see actually everybody on this lineup as a result of when you missed even one set, you had been in all probability prone to remorse it.
And keep in mind, that is 2010 so Calvin Harris was simply coming off Prepared For The Weekend, The Bloody Beetroots had simply launched “Warp 1.9” the earlier 12 months, Rusko had simply launched “Woo Enhance,” Boys Noize launched Energy the earlier 12 months, and Nero was on the cusp of releasing Welcome Actuality.
There was a TON of music that may go on to develop into iconic that was possible being heard stay for the very first time.
5. HARD Day of the Lifeless 2013
We’re stepping into absolutely the legend standing of the competition at this level with HARD Day of the Lifeless 2013. Following the earlier 12 months’s debut, this 12 months was expanded to 2 days.
The headline row is stacks sufficient as it’s: Skrillex, Nero, Boys Noize, Zeds Lifeless, Bloody Beetroots, Masters at Work, and Cirez D on day 1; Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Fairly Lights, Eric Prydz, Minimize Copy, Giorgio Moroder, Baauer b2b RL Grime on day 2. However you’ve additionally received Paper Diamond, Tokimonsta, Kavinsky (Dwell), Skream, Duke Dumont, Justin Martin, Maya Jane Coles, Soul Clap, David Heartbreak, and extra down the road.
Whereas the lineup is clearly closely stacked, it’s the stage design that makes this 12 months nice. Deadmau5, in fact, introduced his Dice. However the spotlight of this 12 months was Skrillex exhibiting up in an enormous pumpkin. It’s positively a type of “you needed to be there moments,” as a result of simply saying Skrillex confirmed up in a pumpkin doesn’t precisely encourage awe or FOMO — however, you simply needed to be there.
4. HARD Summer time 2015
2015 was the primary 12 months that HARD Summer time was hosted on the Pomona Fairplex, although Day of the Lifeless was there first about 9 months prior. Even with the summer season warmth beating down on everybody’s backs, it was nothing just like the Speedway.
The lineup this 12 months was actually numerous, bringing in prime tier hip hop to the primary stage with a lot of legacy acts and returning names. The Chemical Brothers and Ratatat closed out the HARDer stage day one and two, respectively, giving attendees who didn’t need to take care of the crowds at The Weeknd or Jack Ü a robust different. Although, you’ll have missed Justin Bieber popping out with Jack Ü on day 2.
Then, you’ve received Porter stay, The Glitch Mob, Die Antwoord, RL Grime, Zeds Lifeless, Jamie xx, GRiZ, Huge Gigantic, Lido, Milo & Otis, Overwerk, Jai Wolf, Mr. Oizo, Hermitude, Branchez, Jauz, What So Not, Hudson Mohawke, Alesia, Djemba Djemba, and extra earlier within the day. Completely unmatched power.
3. HARD Day of the Lifeless 2014
This lineup proper right here… wow. The world debut of Deadmau5 b2b Eric Prydz, what was possible Fairly Lights’ remaining present in California, Knife Occasion at their peak proper after the discharge of their debut and solely album, Abandon Ship, and Diplo on simply day 1. Then Calvin Harris, Zedd, and Bassnectar (earlier than we knew what we all know now) on day 2.
There wasn’t a number of Halloween or spooky fanfare on the competition this 12 months, so far as reminiscence serves, however the energy of the lineup greater than made up for it. Plus, as talked about beforehand, this was the primary occasion on the Pomona Fairplex.
Gesaffelstein, Seven Lions, Odesza, Moody Good, Snails, Sweater Beats, Zeds Lifeless, RL Grime, Claude VonStroke, Borgore, Huge Gigantic, Pete Tong, Rustie, Thomas Jack, Ty Dolla $ign, Luminox, Cashmere Cat, Eekkoo, and extra introduced up the remainder of the lineup to an unbelievable precipice. Nonetheless, solely a pair extra occasions matched this power.
2. HARD Summer time 2014
This may be one of many extra distinctive HARD lineups ever. The one and solely occasion hosted at Whittier Narrows after it was ousted from the LA State Historic Park by the town for renovation, and earlier than it discovered its house on the Fairplex, the Narrows offered tons of shade and foliage for attendees to flee the summer season warmth.
With 5 phases fairly properly unfold out, sound bleed wasn’t a difficulty and I actually don’t even keep in mind it being that tough to get from stage to stage.
What makes this lineup unbelievable is taking a deeper have a look at the precise set occasions. As an example, day 2 on the HARDer stage, you had The Chainsmokers into Clockwork into Sub Focus into Chase & Standing into Martin Garrix after which, lastly, Nero. This was additionally the ultimate present for Clockwork earlier than he made his full transition into RL Grime. The Purple tent was equally insane this 12 months every day, with The M Machine really closing out day 1 after Kill The Noise, in addition to day 2’s run of Trippy Turtle into Wave Racer into Hucci into Cashmere Cat.
You additionally had the unbelievable reserving of Blood Diamonds, who you may now know as BloodPop, the producer for Woman Gaga, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Madonna, John Legend, and extra. This was additionally Jack Ü’s competition headline debut.
To prime issues off, and I’ve completed extensively private analysis and questionnaires on the subject, that is extensively thought to be Nero’s greatest set of all time. Each Nero superfan I’ve requested has stated this was their favourite set, in the event that they had been witness to it. No recording exists, and it’s actually a tragedy for the world.
1. HARD Haunted Mansion 2008
We’re ending issues off with essentially the most storied HARD occasion ever — HARD Haunted Mansion 2008. For the true followers on the market, this was in all probability the one you’ve been ready for.
That includes a lineup in 2008 that consisted of Justice, Soulwax, Simian Cellular Disco, Boys Noize, Crystal Castles, Deadmau5, and Crookers, this was already going to be a legendary occasion earlier than anybody had even entered the doorways.
However, it’s the story of DJ AM starting his set carrying a Daft Punk helmet that actually cements this as essentially the most legendary HARD of all time. AM performed underneath the helmet for 40 minutes earlier than he lastly took it off and performed a banger set for the rest of his time, after he’d already practically began a riot as rumors of Daft Punk enjoying unfold all through the venue.
It was really fairly straightforward to consider that DJ AM’s slot had been given away as he was in a aircraft crash simply 8 weeks earlier than the occasion. In pictures from his set, you may even see the burns on his arm nonetheless not absolutely healed.
Little or no (clear) footage of the set exists, however you may watch the complete set under recorded on a Flip Cam — keep in mind, it was 2008.