HARD Summer established itself years ago as one of the premiere music festivals in Los Angeles. With the growing trend of dance music and HARD’s insistence on distancing itself from the rave culture, the festival has grown to encompass a wide variety of genres and acts, each individually capable of selling out shows.

There are as many big names as little ones at the festival this year, and normally with these lists, we’d tell you to check out the smaller names and broaden your horizons a bit … normally. This year, however, sees a lot of legendary and can’t miss big names so we’re doing two categories – headliners and support. First up…


1. The Chemical Brothers

The duo just released their first album in five years. This is their first appearance in Los Angeles since 2010. They are legends. I don’t really know what else needs to be said.

2. Ratatat

Same story as above – first album in five years, first HARD appearance since 2011, legendary act unlike anything you’ll see at a typical rave event.

3. Die Antwoord

Die Antwoord make their first HARD appearance this year, following the release of their latest album Donker Mag. Their weird antics and odd behavior and appearance only help to solidify their showmanship on stage. If you can get past the left-field production and find your own groove during one of their sets, you’re bound to have an incredible time.

4. Dillon Francis

Dillon Francis has been on the HARD Summer lineup since his first appearance in 2011. Since then, his fanbase and musical aptitude have continued to grow until it reached a breaking point last year when he released his debut album, Money Sucks, Friends Rule.

However, this year is special as it’s Dillon’s first ever closing spot with the festival. As he’s such a mainstay with the fest, he normally wouldn’t make this list. But I guarantee you that he’s going to be doing something special.

5. Hudson Mohawke / Lunice

I chose both of these artists because of their collaborative project TNGHT. With each of them playing HARD, it’s best to go to both sets in case of a surprise special b2b set.

Though don’t discount each of them individually. Hudson Mohawke just released his latest album Lantern which is sure to positively influence his performance. Lunice, though he hasn’t released anything in over a year, is still a formidable performer and DJ, and not someone to miss.


1. Slow Magic

Slow Magic is your imagination’s answer to Odesza. While both artists will be playing the fest, I’d personally choose Slow Magic. The mysterious vibe is hard to reproduce, for sure, and I feel like his productions are a lot more varied. Though you won’t be able to see his face, it won’t matter as you’re dancing around and feeling the music.

2. Alesia

Alesia did a phenomenal job at the HARDer stage last year for Day Of The Dead, and it’s a shame they’ve been moved off to the side in the 7UP Green Stage. None the less, the more intimate atmosphere might make for a better performance.

3. Matoma

Day Of The Dead featured Thomas Jack as the token tropical artist, so HARD Summer is bringing Matoma. This guy will have you dancing and feeling tropical as flutes, horns and steel drums fill the air. If you’re looking for a little break in going hard, I can’t think of a better man to help you out.

4. Mr Carmack

One of the only artists in the supporters list who can rest on his own laurels, Mr Carmack is a force to be reckoned with. Don’t call his music trap, because it’s so much more.

5. Overwerk

This Canadian artist is one of the last bastions of pure electro music. His art is a craft. If you’re looking to start your day off in the right way, then catch Overwerk as he warms up the 7UP Green stage on Saturday.


Image via Rukes