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Live Review: HARD SUMMER Festival in Los Angeles

It's been nearly 10 years since we last went to a "massive rave" and surprisingly, the scene as we remembered it, hasn't changed much. In the past, we've attended the Electric Daisy Carnival, Monster Massive and countless others. Fast forward almost a decade later and we found ourselves finally attending the 3rd annual HARD SUMMER  festival (day 2) at Los Angeles' Historic State Park located in Chinatown.

Compared to raves of the past, the main differentiators this time around were the spectacular stage setups, improved tech and LCD light shows as well as the line-ups consisting of Skrillex, Chromeo, Nero, Bloody Beetroots, Dillon Francis and Atrak, to name a few. 

Some things never change. As we hopped off the Metro subway, (HARD SUMMER attendees got to ride the subways for free until 2:45am), we saw girls wearing typical outfits consisting of bikinis, furry go-go boots, tiny colorful backpacks, neon bras and colorful wigs. Interesting makeup was also on hand. 

 As we walked around Los Angeles Historic State Park, we checked out the stage setup and saw the usual groups of attendees sitting Indian-style on the floor. Back in the day, we'd call this, "flooring it." (For those unaware, the scene, like in the past, tends to come with party favors that allegedly enhance the EDM experience and "flooring it," as simple as it sounds, feels good to those who've taken said party favors aka E, molly, ecstasy, etc.)

Then, closer to the stage, we saw cliques of people dancing together wearing furry hats with ears attached, as well as males and females wearing sunglasses at night.

The demographic at this particular festival definitely skewed younger, making my groups of friends and I feel old... as dirt. (Mind you, we're in our late 20's). 

As for the music, we caught the Bloody Beet Roots on the main stage and hundreds of festival goers danced their asses off to the electronic, deep tight bass and synth heavy beats.

We then, walked our way to the "Harder" stage where we watched a bit of 12th Planet. While making our way to the side stage, we saw shirtless guys doing back flips on the grassy hills. We also walked by running crowds who wanted to catch the last few minutes of the Bloody Beet Roots on the main stage. On our way there, we saw vendors selling water to thirsty patrons who were willing to shell out $5 for a 16.9 oz bottle. 

Once at the "Harder" stage, lights beamed right through the trees creating a great outdoor musical experience. Fist pumps, non-stop dancing and cheering crowds synced with the beats blasting through the speakers. 

Making our way to the Discotheque Red Bull Academy tent, we watched Justin Martin play maestro to the dancing crowd. A simple lift of his arm got the crowd to scream. This was one of the funnest tents by far as the vibe here was unpretentious and everyone was having fun. 

The neighboring tent consisted of Dillon Francis dressed in a suit, looking quite debonair. This particular tent was packed with attendees dancing and partying throughout the set, which consisted of light flute synths and mid-tempo global-bass beats.

For more photos of HARD SUMMER and for full coverage, check out our slideshow below:

All photos taken by Markus Biegel for Disarray Magazine

Have you attended the HARD SUMMER festival before? What'd you think? Let us know in the comments section.

About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
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