UPDATE: Gary Richards has released an official statement, confirming that he and Live Nation will part ways after this weekend’s HARD event. Read his full statement here.
According to various sources, Live Nation is looking to remove Gary Richards, founder of HARD Events, from the brand when their contract is up for renewal later this year.
HARD held its first event in 2007 in Los Angeles with Justice, Steve Aoki and more; it was acquired by Live Nation in 2012. Since then, HARD has faced a variety of difficulties including multiple venue changes and multiple deaths – last year, three people died at the summer festival, and the annual Day Of The Dead was not held for the first time since it debuted in 2012.
HARD has been held at four different venues since 2013, when it was forced to leave LA State Historic Park due to renovations. It moved to Whittier Narrows in summer 2014, and Pomona Fairplex for Halloween 2015, where it stayed through the next year. Last year, 2016, the festival was held at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, and this year it will be at the Glen Helen Regional Park.
Our sources did not have information as to what Richards would be doing after he was
fired, if that was indeed the case, nor did they have any specifics as to the timing of it all.
These rumors have also been supported in multiple #Shipfam groups on Facebook. A separate rumor asserts that artists are refusing to play HOLY SHIP! if Richards is
fired. Normally, lineups for HOLY SHIP are released toward the end of June or early July – a lineup has not yet been released for 2017, possibly corroborating these rumors.
In an interview with Variety this past April, Richards was asked about his relationship with Live Nation.
“Yeah, this is coming up on the renewal of my deal, so we’re at the end,” he said. When asked if he would stay, he responded, “I dunno. That’s a good question. We shall see. We shall see.”
— Boys Noize (@boysnoize) August 2, 2017
Representatives for Live Nation declined to comment on the matter; a representative for HARD did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.
We will update this article as we receive more information.
HARD Summer will hold its 10th anniversary event this weekend, August 5-6. Headliners include Snoop Dogg, Dog Blood, and DJ Snake.