After spending the past 10 years building his empire, Los Angeles rave godfather, Gary Richards AKA Destructo, has announced he’ll be parting ways with his very own creation, HARD Events. Sources have stated that due to internal conflicts between Richards and Live Nation he will not be performing nor curating Holy Ship! 2018. Also, with Richards 5-year contract with Live Nation ending soon, it’s safe to say there will be no resigning. In L.A. Weekly‘s recent cover story on Richards, he confirmed that Live Nation made the decision to move HARD Summer to Glen Helen, but seemed to indicate that he agreed with the move. “They were just like, ‘We think it’s a better fit.’ I’m just following their lead on that,” he said.
Rumors are also spreading that Richards plans to partner with LiveStyle. LiveStyle is essentially the rebirth of SFX Entertainment, a concert promoter that gobbled up brands across the nation and Europe in a so-far failed effort to take over live EDM. But HARD Events will remain with Live Nation, which leaves the question, who will replace Destructo?
It’s safe to assume that a lot of people attended HARD Events because of flavor that Destructo had incorporated into the dance scene. Artist like Skrillex, Boys Noize, plus many others on twitter have made their voices heard saying that Holy Ship! would not be the same without Destructo there. They even made a hashtag #NoGaryNoShip. A petition was also started to persuade Live Nations to rethink their decision.
— Boys Noize (@boysnoize) August 2, 2017
— SKRILLEX (@Skrillex) August 2, 2017
Gary Richards has made a public statement confirming he will, in fact, be leaving his beloved HARD brand after HARD Summer this weekend, which is the 10th anniversary of the beloved LA festival.
The Holy Ship community have already started a Change.org petition asking Live Nation to restore Richards as the main curator for all HARD events.
An open Letter to Live Nation from this amazing community known around the world as Shipfam.
Dear Live Nation, we may not know exactly what the core issue is between you and Gary Richards, and frankly, we do not care. Gary Richards is the reason that HolyShip, Shipfam, and many prominent and well known DJ’s are known all around the world today. His name is synonymous with high quality and well-staged events all around the world, and without Gary, there is no ship, and most importantly, no Shipfam.
At the end of the day, if you choose to give Gary the boot, or otherwise force him from Holyship, we pledge to make this hurt, and not physically, but financially.
Each year, Holyship, which was founded by Gary, brings in crowds from all over the world in excess of 5-10 thousand people per year, for ship alone.The Base Cost of attendance is at least a thousand dollars (US) per person, and much much more in merchandise, food, drinks, and other sources of revenue. By signing this pledge, this family has agreed to either no longer attend Holyship, or severely curtail our spending, which WILL cost you millions.
Live Nation, the ball is in your court. Play smart.