Gary Richards has one of the most unique perspectives in electronic music. As the founder/CEO of HARD Events and the man behind Destructo, he both mans the decks and preps the parties, straddling either side of the industry. Richards’ career has gained him status amongst legends such as the Chemical Brothers, Justice and more, if not for his musical prowess then for his business-minded tenacity. Between HARD Summer, Red Rocks, Day of the Dead, Holy Ship!, and his Destructo alias, there’s quite a lot going on, but Richards seems to have it all on lockdown.

Monsters and Critics caught up with the industry powerhouse to discuss the history of HARD, his career as Destructo, and his love for Dillon Francis.

M&C: Your lineup announcement trailers for the past couple of years have become more and more cinematic. Outside Lands did with Funny or Die but do you think you guys were first?

“I don’t know if we were the first, I’ve just learned over the years that doing a trailer where you just show the crowd and the names of the groups is kind of boring. Nobody shares it, nobody is like “Hey, check this out!” When you have dogs dressed up as Justice and Diplo and they’re DJing, everybody likes to look at dogs online, you go online and there’s a picture of a cat playing with a ball of yarn and it has 27 million views and you’re like “what?” [laughs] so just trying to get more creative, we always try to be different, try to have fun. Like you said it is a party but it’s about good music. We just keep doing good stuff and eventually it catches on, thank god with this thing it caught on.”

M&C: This year you’re playing Lollapalooza, Creamfields and Voodoo. Even two dates in Japan. From what I understand, sometimes you’re playing four DJ sets in a day?

“Yeah, I love DJing dude, it’s funny cause when I get interviewed now I always get asked the question “What do you like better, DJing or promoting?” or “How do you have the time?” I really learned that for me the genesis of it all starts from the DJing. It really keeps my head in the game. So I’m playing in Hawaii next weekend so I gotta figure out what I’m going to play, I want to do my mix of House and Hip Hop, so I’m focused in on the newest Hip Hop, focused in on all this [music]. I just pay so much attention to the music and that just makes me better as a promoter for booking. I have a reason why I got to really pay attention, obviously I love it but I want to be up on the newest shit as a DJ and I think that’s why what I realized right now that there’s so much good Hip Hop out there and since I’ve been doing the G House I’ve really been paying attention, I’m trying to figure out who I want to have on my record.

And the more I listen I’m like “Goddamn!” there’s so much good Hip Hop right now, like wow. Maybe three years ago I wasn’t trying to set stuff up like who is the new dude coming up here and there now I’m really getting my finger on the pulse of that and it’s helping with [HARD Summer].”

M&C: It seems like [your events] are a big party, your performers tend to have a lot of fun with you guys and they keep coming back. Dillon Francis is in his fourth year performing at HARD Summer?

“Dillon is our dude, man. Diplo was like “Hey, I got this kid Dillon, can you throw him on one of your shows?” I think HARD Summer, see where’s the poster I have it here somewhere, yeah there it is, HARD Summer 2011, he was the bottom name.”


“The state of HARD feels good, man.”

Yes, yes it does, Gary. Click here to read the full interview.


H/T Monsters And Critics | Photo by Kyle Hendrix