What Went Wrong at Hard's Day of the Dead?
Lots of people enjoyed themselves at Hard's Day of the Dead concert, held at Los Angeles State Historic Park on November 3, and featuring Justice, Diplo and others. Our reviewer certainly did, even giving "kudos to the promoters for reorganizing the layout" to accommodate some 35,000 people, about 10,000 more than last year. And organizers subsequently called it the "most successful" event yet for Hard, a five-year-old L.A.-based organization known for EDM parties that was purchased by Live Nation in June.
But many complaints have since been levied at the party's organizers. One girl called it "the scariest experience" she's ever endured. Other concertgoers described being "cramped in a panicked, angry mob with riot police staring us down" "for two plus hours, not able to get in or out," with people "passing out" around them. Furious attendees have inundated Hard's Facebook page with horror stories, admonishments, and complaints alleging they weren't able to catch the artists they paid to see. Some have demanded refunds for tickets, which ran from $85 to $135.
Hard founder and organizer Gary Richards has not directly responded to questions about the conditions at the concert, although afterward Richards (who performs as DJ Destructo and who has promoted electronic events for more than 20 years) posted an apology on the Hard Presents Facebook page:
For those of our guests that experienced a longer wait than anticipated to gain entry to HARD Day Of The Dead we would like to apologize.
Its very unfortunate that a select few people decided to remove the bike rack barricades we had in place to keep lines in order and throw them around, greatly disrupting the flow of entry.
Due to this we had to reset everything and create a further delay.
We've already begun the process on how to improve entry to the event.
Gary Richards and the HARD team
There are plenty of festival-goers who are not satisfied with this mea culpa, however. A Long Beach attendee named James Dolan wrote to the Weekly about his experience: