Wrapping Up the Dead: Our Review of HARD Day of The Dead

Hard Day of the Dead by Scott Dudelson

Photo Credit: Kevin Dudelson

35,000 people were on hand this past Saturday to attend the first ever Hard Presents: Day Of the Dead  festival in downtown Los Angeles. The lineup was one of the most eclectic we have seen of any Hard Event and we could not wait to see how it turned out.

What We Liked


1) The step up in stage production

The best stage by far was the Eargasm Stage (which played host to UZ, Baauer, Kill The Noise, Knife Party, Among others). It was one of the best open air stages we have ever seen at a festival, and the engineers managed to keep the sound clean and crisp all night – no matter if you were in the very front or observing from the safety of the beer garden in the rear.

2) The Venue Layout on the inside

They switched up the layout of the stages on the inside of the festival from the previous HARD events held at the State Park. The new layout was much more open and provided more than enough room to move through the crowds.

3) Baauer Destroying The Ear Storm Stage

Video of Baauer’s full set for those that missed it

4)   The Red Bull Music Academy Discotheque lineup

From the beginning we had a feeling that the RBMA Discotheque would be the spot to be all night. We were definitely not disappointed; rather we were actually somewhat surprised as to how good the overall vibe/performances were from top to bottom. Even the big chief Destructo threw down an incredible set, showing us his strengthening song selection and educated ear. Check out some highlights below!

Para One & his new live set

Maya Jane Coles in full effect

Last 20 minutes of Soul Clap


What We Didn’t Like:


1) The beer gardens

We want to be able to walk around the festival with our drinks and enjoy the show. Not locked in the beer garden- which always shuts down too early for our taste. Although we know this isn’t possible at an 18+ event, it’s nice to wishfully think.

2) Justice

Justice’s set just felt very tired and uninventive. Besides the large crowd that was really into it, there was nothing special about it. After years of playing the same tunes you would think they would change it up. Maybe they should take a page out of Daft Punk’s book and sit out until they can really bring it again.

3) Getting Inside

Next year please sacrifice one of the LED walls and take that money and invest it into redoing the entire entry process. It was unfortunate that they only had 1 entrance for the entire festival, that they didn’t have RFID bands (swiping all those cards takes forever), and that they did not have any  partitions to help people form lines to get their ID’s checked (First Check Point).

Festivals are all about overall customer experience and that includes getting in and out of the festival as well.


Overall Conclusion:

Outside of the problems that occurred out at the front entrance (which we know will be fixed), we thought that HARD Day of the Dead was the best overall production that HARD has put on to date. We cannot wait to see what they have in store for us in the future. Just please do us one favor and leave Justice out of the next one.