Category: Kaskade

Hard Summer books Skrillex, Miike Snow, Boys Noize, James Murphy

L.A.'s own Skrillex and Sweden's electro-poppers Miike Snow are among the many acts that will anchor the 2012 edition of the dance-focused Hard Summer, returning for the third year to the Los Angeles State Historic Park downtown. Reflecting the growth of electronic music and the strength of the festival market, Hard Summer will grow to two consecutive days this year, with opening night slated for Aug. 3.

Other artists set to appear at Hard Summer include Bloc Party, Boys Noize, Bloody Beetroots, Nero, James Murphy, Squarepusher and Bootsy Collins & the Funk Unity Band (full lineup below). Two-day passes are available and start at $119, not including surcharges. Last year's single-day Hard Summer was a sellout with 30,000 tickets sold.

Festival founder Gary Richards said ticket sales in 2012 are between five and 10 times greater than they were at this point last year. Capacity grew last year from about 25,000 to 30,000, and Richards did not yet have final word from the city on whether or not he could expect a similar growth this summer.

Richards said expanding to two days was a no-brainer. "It’s pretty logical to go from one day to two days," he said. "You have to build so much infrastructure –- the staging, the fencing and the power. If you put it all in there for one day, you may as well use it for another day."

It hasn't always been this easy for Richards and Hard Summer. The company is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, but just two years ago the event was caught up in the maelstrom that descended on electronic events in Los Angeles after things went haywire at 2010's Electric Daisy Carnival. Richards had hoped to stage two separate summer events at the park in 2010, but was forced to downsize to one. 

"It’s been a hot-button issue in the city for a long time," Richards acknowledged. "But I think with our operation, everyone likes working with us and we’ve come through on our end to make it as safe as can be."

The mainstream acceptance of electronic music seems to be accelerating at a rather rapid pace, thanks, in part, to Skrillex, who earned a Grammy nomination for best new artist. The recently concluded Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festivalin Indio has placed dance on equal footing with rock since the event's inception, and Swedish House Mafia was one of the mainstage headliners this year. Sunday, Coachella vet Kaskade announced he would be performing a July 27 date at Staples Center.

Despite the recent goodwill toward the electronic community, Richards isn't ready to relax. "Whenever we’re doing an event, we have to bring our A-game and everyone has to be prepared for anything that can happen," he said. "We can’t let down our guard. We don’t leave any stones unturned to try to keep this safe."  

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Kaskade sets Staples Center headline date

Ryan Raddon, better known as DJ Kaskade, closes the Sahara tent and the second night of week two of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Fresh off two well-received Coachella sets, the electronica artist Kaskade already has another high-profile L.A. date booked. But the upcoming July 27 Staples Center set from the O.C.-based artist born Ryan Raddon is a landmark in its own right: it offically makes him an L.A. arena-rocker.

The show will be the first headlining Staples Center set from an electronic dance music artist. The venue is usually the top L.A. stop for touring pop acts like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

Festivals like the Electric Daisy Carnival and Tiesto's Club Life College Invasion tour attracted larger crowds to outdoor venues in the L.A. area recently. But Kaskade's Staples set — alongside major recent EDM events like Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia's Madison Square Garden shows — suggests that promoters like AEG and Live Nation want to incorporate the top tier of EDM artists into pop's traditional major-headliner venues, and that mainstream fans don't see much of a cultural difference between the two worlds anymore.

Pop and EDM have been merging for years on recordings. This set shows their touring business models are blending as well.


Kaskade continues to break down walls

PHOTOS: Coachella 2012

TIMELINE: Coachella through the years

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— August Brown

Photo: Ryan Raddon, better known as DJ Kaskade, closes the Sahara tent and the second night of week two of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., April 21, 2012. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times


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