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

July 12, 2010 |  2:17 pm


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