As the dance music community continues to reel from the news that HARD founder Gary Richards will not continue his contract with Live Nation, and will therefore give up control of the event company he built from the ground up for a decade, we turn our attention to the most important detail: HARD Summer 2017 will be one of the craziest parties HARD has ever seen, because it’s kind of the last legitimate one we’re gonna get.
This is Richards’ going away party. He’s got all his best friends on the bill. There are old faces and new. It’s just about guaranteed to be a legendary circus. Tickets are still on sale, but it’s right around the corner, coming to the Glen Helen Amphitheater and Regional Park Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5 and 6. We want you to head in there fully informed and walking in the right direction.
There is so much talent on this lineup. Choosing 10 acts to highlight was, well, incredibly HARD. We decided to assume you’ll see Snoop Dogg‘s Doggystyle performed in full — because duh — and we’re in general focusing on the dance acts, just to make things easier. Every moment of this will likely be magic, but we’re certain if you manage to catch these acts in particular, you’re guaranteed to walk away a changed human.
Only a fool would miss this rare chance to catch Skrillex and Boys Noize as evil noise duo Dog Blood. This is what it sounds like when metal-head b-boys make techno in the year 3017. This will be an aural onslaught of epic proportions. Wigs will fly. Bodies will flail. Skrillex will do a lot of jumping, There will be blood on the mosh-pit floor. It will be the stuff of legends.
She may live in Brooklyn, but Jubilee’s heart stays in Miami full time. Her recent album After Hours is a rump-shakin’ love letter to the tropical city that parties from dusk to dawn and dusk again. It’s full of bleep-bloop ’90s Miami Bass vibes, and her sets are, too. She’s most definitely going to drop some Caribbean flavor in between all the booty bass heaters.
Did you know Cashmere Cat represented Norway in the DMC World Championship from 2006 to 2009? Yeah, he’s one of the best DJs doing it. He’ll blow your mind with his dark alt-pop production, then he’ll scramble what’s left of it with some fancy turntable tricks. Then he might sit on the side of the stage and check his phone for a minute, because he does what he wants.
These shaggy dudes from the Ed Banger crew are a big part of what made HARD what it is. Richards started the company as a means to give “blog house” acts like Justice and Boys Noize a place to perform. He’s convinced these rare animals to get on Holy Ship!, and now he’s got them back for the big sendoff. It’s not a live show, but the duo delivers a dope DJ set, too, and we would be completely shocked if Ed Banger MC Uffie didn’t hop on the mic for a live rendition of “TthhEe PpaARRtTYY,” which is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime catch.
If ’90s-throwback/future-R&B vibes are your jam, this is a must. Giraffage will take a classic R. Kelly sample, feed it through a kaleidoscope, and serve it on top of a cartoon rainbow. This is music to get your whole body bouncing, and he just released the lead single to his upcoming official debut album, so he’s definitely going to be motivated to merk.
DJ Heather b2b Colette
Born in Chicago and spinnin’ in Brooklyn, DJ Heather was practically bred to be one of the premiere house selectors of the world. Funky Chicagoan Colette is one of those multi-talented DJs that gifts the track with her own live vocals. The two women came up together, and when they join for a musical tete-a-tete, the world stops.
This emotional music master has the sunset slot, and there could be no more perfect time for his expansive, cinematic style. His Kindred Spirits EP is made for summer days turned to nights. If you’re looking for a sentimental moment to get you in the feels without succumbing to cliches, Jai Wolf is the magic.
Confess your sins, and then commit more of them. The brooding bishop of future house wants to make you do bad things. He’s a rare bird and a big friend of the HARD brand. No doubt he’ll bring extra special goodies for the California crowd. Say three Hail Marys and make sure there’s extra room on the dance floor. Your booty is going to need it.
Your girl is thirsty for Jersey Club. Bring her to see UNIIQU3 and watch her bust moves you didn’t even know she could pull off. The Newark native and self-proclaimed “Club Kween” can absolutely kill a couple decks. Let your inner freak flash while she blends bed squeaks with vogue beats and regulates every shade of bounce bass.
This is the big explosive moment. This is Gary Richards, signing off after 10 years of careful curation and tastemaking. Rumor has it he’s going to get a giant back-to-back set going. It’s just gonna be homies bro-ing down on the decks; a sick flurry of DJs trying to impress each other. It will most likely be absolutely momentous. If you see one set at HARD Summer 2017, see this one.