Events company Live Nation‘s aggressive surge into the electronic dance music industry claims another scalp with the acquisition of US based promoter HARD Events. (Famous for events including Holy Ship!).
The chatter has already begun on whether Destructo’s decision (CEO of HARD Events and playing this year’s Stereosonic) will affect the reputation of his coveted events. As a veteran promoter from the early 90s Los Angeles rave scene, Destructo has seen it all. A true industry man, he has dabbled in almost every aspect of the US dance circuit. Over the past few years HARD Events has grown from a strictly West Coast promotion company to one of the most original event generators in the business.
Destructo’s vison as a Dj and event producer has always been to create original landscapes packed with only the best talent. With events at least once a month, the touring Dj heads frequent smaller HARD shows coast to coast, as well as full on festivals a few times a year. HARD Summer in LA is approaching with a particularly stacked lineup. Last January was also the inaugural voyage of Holy Ship! – the electro centered cruise that made waves through the Bahamas and through the industry with this year’s lineup even bigger and better!
Not only are his events praised by fans, they are also artist favorites. In booking, he pays no attention to top 20 names like Avicii and Tiesto. HARD Festivals are headlined by the kings of the underground with frequent gigs by Boys Noize, Gesafflestein, Busy P, and their respective crews. Not only has the touring promotion become the cream for those trying to escape the usual club, it has become a platform for Djs from Berlin to Los Angeles to travel and work together. Destructo’s tracks can now be seen on the BNR sub-label TRAX, where cutting edge producers break out the freshest beats.
Soon after the announcement about Live Nation’s acquisition, Destructo proclaimed to his following: “And know this: I will always stay true to the end – I’m all about great music and artists. Now I have a bigger platform to work from.” That statement will have to be proven by line-ups, as the corporate Live Nation will most assuredly think with their bank account.
With recent criticism slamming other event giants such as Insomniac and Ultra Music Festival, Live Nation could most definitely churn the waters of dissent. In the past year we have seen Djs kicked off the club decks for not being “commercial enough” (Dennis Ferrer and Mark Farina, for example). Could this be a trend rising in the festival game too? Will Djs have to submit pre-approved sets to ensure they meet their quotas for mass appeal? Will Deadmau5’s button pusher analogy become truer with time? The age of vinyl might have sunk back into the underground, but hopefully the EDM world won’t see the same fate in event structuring. If anything, Live Nation, please just don’t make the world endure another set by the hotel heiress Paris Hilton.