×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hard Events Founder Gary Richards Says He’s Leaving Live Nation and Holy Ship Cruise

As he broadly hinted in an interview with Variety earlier this year, Hard Events and Holy Ship! founder Gary Richards announced on Wednesday that he is leaving Live Nation after this weekend’s Hard Summer festival.

A rep for Live Nation had no comment when contacted by Variety but confirmed the news.

“To all the HARDfam & Shipfam,” his post on social media reads. “I am leaving Live Nation after this week’s Hard event to pursue an incredible new opportunity that I will share with everyone in the weeks to come. Accordingly, I will not be attending or curating the next Holy Ship cruise event in 2018.

“I have the utmost respect for Michael Rapino and Live Nation,” the post continues. “Let’s make this week’s 10th anniversary show the best HARD event ever!”

Asked by Variety in April about his relationship with Live Nation, which he joined five years ago, Richards unexpectedly said, “This is coming up on the renewal of my deal, so we’re at the end.” Asked whether he was going to stay with the company he said, “I dunno. That’s a good question. We shall see. We shall see. There’s been positive and negative to it. I think that Hard has grown by leaps and bounds and Live Nation has given me a platform to expand monetarily in things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I was funding everything. But then again, there are other forces at play here that are running the electronic scene in different directions than me, and they kind of battle with me and that part of it’s not fun  — and it’s unnecessary.”

He declined to elaborate further, and rumors began circulating when the next Holy Ship was booked and Richards, who deejays and tours regularly as Destructo, was not on the bill.

Richards’ influence on the contemporary dance-music scene has been vast — Hard is of one of the genre’s biggest promotion companies and he’s a veteran of several record labels as well as a longtime and respected DJ. After launching the original Electric Daisy Carnival in 1991, he handed off the brand to fellow dance maven and (sometimes) friendly rival Pasquale Rotella to take a job as Rick Rubin’s dance-music A&R at Def American Records. (Rotella has since developed Electric Daisy into North America’s biggest dance-music festival.) After several years at labels and a period of working with his brother Steven (who managed Slipknot and died of a brain tumor in 2004), Richards launched the first Hard show on New Year’s Eve, 2007. Over the ensuing years, the company’s rocket-like growth matched that of dance music, and it was purchased by Live Nation in 2012 for an undisclosed price; Rotella’s Insomniac Events came under the same roof the following year. Hard Summer drew 150,000 people over two days last year.

Yet for all the success, the past couple of years have also been, well, hard. Two concertgoers died of drug overdoses at 2015’s Hard Summer and three died last year; MDMA (aka ecstasy) toxicity, the main culprit, was exacerbated by heat of the Southern California summer sun. And his tenure at Live Nation has been rocky. Sources say this is due in no small measure to his ferocious rivalry with Rotella — the two are like the yin and yang of dance music, Richards’ musical purism eternally clashing with Rotella’s Vegas instincts — which has flared into the open many times over the years. It happened again earlier this year, when Richards denied accusations that he’d refused to book acts who played Insomniac events.

 

 

 

More Biz

  • Tokyo Film Festival and Market Choose

    Tokyo Film Festival and Market Set Separate Dates in 2019

    The Tokyo International Film Festival and its accompanying rights market, TIFFCOM, will be held on separate dates this year. Some film executives may have to choose to attend one or the other. The film festival Wednesday announced that it will be held from Monday, Oct 28 to Tues, Nov. 5. Previously, the TIFFCOM market said [...]

  • Jeremy Vuernick

    Capitol Music Group Promotes Jeremy Vuernick to Executive VP of A&R

    Jeremy Vuernick has been promoted to Executive Vice President of A&R for Capitol Music Group, it was announced today by CMG COO Michelle Jubelirer and president Ashley Newton. In his elevated position, Vuernick will draw upon his broad experience as an A&R executive to sign and develop artists for the company, as well as oversee recording projects for new and [...]

  • Darnell Strom

    Darnell Strom to Lead UTA's Newly Created Culture and Leadership Division

    Darnell Strom has joined UTA and is set to lead its newly created Culture and Leadership division. Strom will represent and work with existing and new UTA clients who want to expand their diverse businesses and cultural influence at the intersection of entertainment, media, entrepreneurship, politics, the arts, and thought leadership. Strom brings years of [...]

  • Editorial use only. MANDATORY CREDIT: PARLIAMENTARY

    British Lawmakers Reject Prime Minister's Brexit Plan, Heightening Uncertainty

    British lawmakers have resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s terms for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union, heightening the country’s sense of uncertainty and paralysis less than two months before the exit is supposed to take effect. Parliament rejected May’s Brexit plan by a 432-202-vote Tuesday evening, one of the biggest parliamentary defeats in [...]

  • Dan Cohen nonesuch records

    Nonesuch Promotes Dan Cohen to Senior VP of Marketing

    Dan Cohen has been named Nonesuch Records’ senior vice president of marketing, the company announced today. In his new role, Cohen oversees marketing, sales, publicity, new media, and content creation for the long-running Warner Music Group label. Cohen reports to Nonesuch President David Bither and is based at the label’s headquarters in New York. Cohen [...]

  • hollywood debt

    Can Hollywood's Biggest Media Companies Avoid Getting Crushed by Debt?

    Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman-CEO, summoned all of his folksy Oklahoma earnestness as he made an enthusiastic pitch to Wall Street analysts about the telephone company’s bold efforts to transform itself into a multimedia powerhouse. It was late November, less than six months after AT&T had wrapped up its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. But [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content