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Citing increased security requirements, HARD L.A. canceled [UPDATED]*


In the wake of a teenager's death at the Electric Daisy Carnival last month, the electronic-centric HARD L.A. concert at downtown's Los Angeles State Historic Park has been canceled due to security concerns.

James Valdez, a state park ranger and the lead coordinator for events in the Los Angeles sector who was overseeing Hard L.A., confirmed that the July 17 date is no longer happening. Valdez said the Aug. 7 Hard event, also set for the park, was still planned as of this morning. “From what I hear, yes,” Valdez said when asked if the Aug. 7 was scheduled to go off.

Valdez said he received an e-mail from Gary Richards, the festival's promoter, that stated the July 17 date was “postponed,” but he had no further information.

Documents from sources connected to a number of the acts scheduled to perform at the July 17 concert indicate that the promoters behind HARD L.A. have canceled the show in light of the new scrutiny and logistics demanded of large-scale electronic music concerts in Los Angeles.

The annual festival this year was to feature acts including M.I.A., Die Antwoord, Flying Lotus, Sleigh Bells and others.

Richards has not returned messages for comment. Biz3, HARD L.A.'s publicity team, has declined to comment.

The documents indicate that the festival will not be rescheduled, but that the New York installment on July 24 has not been affected. The cancellation comes as rumors of poor advance ticket sales have dogged the festival in recent days.

UPDATED 2:32 P.M.: Fresh Squeezed, another L.A. electronic music festival planned for the City of Industry, was canceled after difficulties securing a location and permits in light of the new public scrutiny.

The Hard L.A. cancellation comes after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted last week to establish a task force to examine and "enhance rave safety.” The motion to establish the task force followed a prior call by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky to establish a rave moratorium, and the Coliseum had already announced a temporary ban on new contracts with rave operators as they consider whether to allow another such event.

A spokesman for Yaroslavsky’s office said he was unaware that Hard L.A. had been canceled.

“Zev has never said anything about rave-type events at any other venue other than the Coliseum,” the spokesman said. Calls were deferred to the mayor’s office, who have not yet responded to requests for comment.

Beyond Hard, the summer's other big electronica event, the Love Festival, is scheduled to take place at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, next to the Coliseum, on Aug. 21. It was unclear how the call for a moratorium might affect that event, although a formal decision could be made as early as July 16, when the Coliseum Commission is slated to meet and discuss the Love Festival’s fate.

UPDATED 2:49 P.M.: Biz 3, the publicist for Hard L.A., has just released the following statement:

Due to events beyond our control, HARD LA M.I.A. July 17 has been cancelled.  
Thanks to the continued support of City of Los Angeles, LAPD, LAFD, and California State Parks HARD SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL at the Los Angeles State Historic Park on August 7th 2010 featuring Soulwax, Crystal Castles, Major Lazer, Erol Alkan, Diplo, Digitalism and more will continue as scheduled.
Tickets for HARD LA M.I.A. are automatically valid for the HARD SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL. HARD will offer refund instructions July 13th via HARDFEST.com
HARD NYC M.I.A. in New York July 24 at Governors Island is on as scheduled. 

UPDATED 4:00 P.M.: Gary Richards, Hard L.A.'s promoter, said in a phone interview that "We’ve been working with the city for months and all our security plans were approved. The city was pleased with our plan. The LAPD had asked for some more cops, but most of this was the exact same plan as before. We just thought it would be better to put both events together. This didn’t have anything to do with security issues.”

When asked if slower-than-expected ticket sales affected the cancellation, Richards said "I'd rather not comment on that."

*Editor's note: Based on the above 4 p.m. update, we have changed the headline of this post. The original headline read: "Citing security concerns, Hard L.A. canceled."

- August Brown & Todd Martens

M.I.A. photo by Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (31)

no biggie, its not like it was real music or anything...

Well thank you all you knee-jerk idiots parents who don't know where your kids are and what they're doing. Let's face it: The Music Industry is in shambles. Great artists like FLyLo and Gaslamp Killer, the modern Miles Davis's and Sun Ra's of our techno golden age, can ONLY make money form touring. And just when everything is set to go, the city gets freaked out because a couple of turds squeezed out of California's absentee parenting and high-fructose-corn-syrup education "system" decide to take drugs at a rave called EDC. Now that the Ecstasy Drug Carnival is on everyone's minds, and the city is under pressure, we see all kinds of events get put through the ringer. What's next? Coachella attendees required to take pee tests throughout the White Stripes performance? Drug sniffing dogs to evacuate teenagers from publicly announced "rave days" at Six Flags and Disney? Kids should be punished for misbehavior and only for misbehavior. This is outrageous. LA, we need to take back our music. This is the entertainment capital of the world, and yet we ignore bad parenting and instead blame the greatest artists of our time - the musicians DJs and promoters who put everything on the line to entertain us safely for a day.

I think this has less to do with "security concerns" and more to do with the promoter finding a PR-friendly way out of an event that wasn't selling tickets. More of the economy blues. I was really hoping to go.

i really dont get why all these concerts are closing. hard isnt even a rave. and raves on the other hand have been going on for years. just cause the biggest one in the US has 1 death doesnt mean all the others should cancel. and in the last article it said hard LA had about 12000 ticket sales. EDC was 185000. way different.

This is stupid. HARD LA is the furthest thing from a rave. Look at the artists- its hip hop and electro. The party ends at midnight, and the acts will attract mainly a 20 to 30'something crowd. There's a word for this type of event: A CONCERT.

Thank you media for sensationalizing this girl's death, so that regular concerts can be shut down, and so that real raves will be forced to retreat back underground where there's no rules, regulations, or EMTs.

Well at least the Gypsy Kings at the Greek is still on. Granted there's enough security. Knock on wood.



Yeah, I too am thinking it has more to do with low ticket sales than safety concerns. This crowd would have been much more laid back than the weirdo rave kids were. Herb has that affect on people.

The crude death rate in the United States is 7.5 people per 1000 people per year.

This means that the average crude death rate for a population in the United States for a group of 185,000 people would be 1388 people per year.

Which means that the average daily death rate for a population of 185,000 people should be 3.8 people per day.

Which means that Electric Daisy Carnival was 380% safer than the statistical norm for life in the United States as whole, which is probably statistically safer than the mortality rate for Los Angeles itself.

But the L.A. Times writes articles to make people panic. Not cool.

Regulate the concerts away. Regulate the good times, the income, and the taxes away. No matter what is proposed the government can find a way to destroy it.

These electronic music fans need to take the drugs away from the culture and learn how to get high on the music instead . I did it with no problems and so can others. Is the music really not good enough to do that?
Nobody wants to sanction a drug fest faking like it is a music concert. Too many lives have been ruined. In response to the guy talking about the new Miles and Sun Ra type artist, then how about having the new Miles Davis's and Sun Ra's of the music world be drug free? Lets aspire to that for a change instead of digging up old demons that have destroyed so many lives and perpetuating that. The real progressive and creative artist in the music scene would understand that type of idea.


Yet, L.A. is boycotting AZ over security fears for illegals. Too funny.

These are MUSIC FESTIVALS people. Raves are usually thrown in warehouses, not knowing the location till the day of, having little security etc....HARD, EDC, NOCTURNAL, KOSMIC FEST are all electronic dance music festivals with proper permits, police presence, EMT's, etc...The media only knows how to portray the negative. Would you rather have people there for music and unity with positive vibes, or a hip hop concert with gangsters and weapons and parking lot fights wth gus and knives? WAKE UP MEDIA!

@trajan...EDC last year had 130k, this year it saw 185k. you think in 1 year, there would be that many more edm fans? over the course of the weekend, people around me had no clue who they were seeing. SOME, not all, of these attendees-both kids and adults, just want an excuse to party (drink, dance, hook up, or do drugs--you choose the combination). they're not there for the music, or if they are, they only have a slight interest in it and it can easily be danced to. in the end, they're not quite like you, and take drugs to enhance their experience. nothing wrong with that, that's just what they wanted to do that weekend. mission accomplished.

there is also such a thing as sober ravers, fans of the music both young and old; people who listen to the music all the time, and enjoy it 24/7, so please don't assume that we're all crazed and drugged out.

and if you're talking about miles davis...drugs and jazz go hand in hand. you can't have ANYTHING even related to miles davis without drugs. his sound was developed during the time he was under the influence of heroin. his most legendary and beautiful works were too. thank god he kicked the habit. only wish other musicians could have been that strong.

i wonder what kind of music do you enjoy?

Once again I'm left disappointed. I was at HARD Summer 2009. What a fiasco. The only HARD that didn't have problems was Haunted Mansion in 2008 at the Shrine. This really sucks I can't make it to the rescheduled concert on August 7th. UGH!!!!!

The leadership of Los Angeles is incompetent. Villaragosa has got to go.

It was canceled because of poor ticket sales not safety concerns, otherwise the August HARD would also have been canceled... you know, the one with actual RAVE acts? M.I.A. and N*E*R*D isn't a rave. This has nothing to do with EDC and everything to do with M.I.A. sucking.

Can we smell the lie? Thanks for screwing up my weekend plans.

I'm gonna dose Gary Richards at hard summer and send him on a one-way acid trip to hell.

"how about having the new Miles Davis's and Sun Ra's of the music world be drug free?"

Why weren't the original Miles Davis and Sun Ra drug-free? Then all of their listeners would still be alive today! You're so right!

@itsaboutthemusic All good points, except we in San Bernardino would have a hard time defending any events at the hellholes in our backyard, namely the Hudson Theater, the extinct Pharaohs Water Park, and even the Orange Show. The Hudson especially is little more than a crackhouse with a curfew.

C'mon people. Let's call a spade a spade here: this cancellation has nothing to do with "security issues" and everything to do with stopping a bunch of ecstacy-addled adolescents from killing themselves, period.

And what, exactly, is wrong with that? I have no problems with having a good time partying, but there are way too many examples of the horrible, death-filled results of raves (the gonzo dude from Seattle killing a bunch of kids he met at a rave comes to mind) and it's high time they were completely outlawed, period.

Trust me - this is strange coming from someone of my ideals and societal attitudes, but raves have no redeeming value, societal or otherwise, sentence, paragraph, end of f-ing story.

The uber-leftists of the Democrat Party are always whining about saving our youth. It's time for them to put their money (wait, thsi is Cali we're talking about, so what money?) where their diarrhea-spewing mouths are and permanently ban all raves going forward.

Stop raves.

You think you'd want your kids of the future to know that you've been drugged up when you were young?

Grow up kids, this is the real world. Managers, Directors, and other created EDC, HARD, etc so they can MAKE MONEY.

REAL WORLD PEOPLE. Your money, becomes theirs and what they buy/have becomes your inspiration.

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