With an eclectic lineup littered with artists such as, Deadmau5, Future, Jauz, Branchez, Ghastly, & many more, HARD Day of the Dead was a fantastic festival which dominated the Fairplex in Pomona, California for two back to back nights during Halloween weekend. Combining elements of hip-hop and EDM artists, this year’s explosive lineup catered to a wide range of musical tastes. From Nero along with vocalist Alana Watson, to French DJ, Gesaffelstein, down to a debut-festival appearance by anonymous act, Marshmello and all the way across the board to legendary hip-hop acts, such as, Redman & Method Man, the performances at HARD Day of the Dead impacted the crowd magnetically throughout the five stages. The crowd during Henry Fong’s set went mental when he dropped songs like, “When I say HOOT, You Say HO” and “From the Windows to the Walls”.
HARD-founder, Gary Richards, threw down an awesome set meanwhile, Marshmello made his debut-festival appearance (and 2nd performance ever) at HARD and it seems like half of those in attendance were standing outside the hall waiting to see him perform moments before he stepped on stage. The crowd was jam packed and anxious for some heavy 808s and ready to have a great time and Marshmello graced them with just that. The mystery artist was able to procure a really unique interaction with his crowd, interacting through the microphone extremely well, engaging the crowd to sing along with Marhmello’s remix of “Where Are U Now”.
But none of them seem to be able to top the amount of energy that was circulating throughout the hall during Skrillex’s performance. Even Diplo couldn’t resist surprising the crowd with a cameo appearance.
This year’s edition to HARD presents Day of the Dead proved that the event is only continuing to grow and prosper into something that future music fans can respect and call home. This was mostly notable during Skrillex’s performance where he stopped the music in mid set to share his affinity for the crowd and advocate the love for music over the use of drugs and hoped them to take good care of their friends and loved ones.
“Im not here to judge anybody for the life that they live…” Skrillex said, “But this scene in Los Angeles is getting a bad wrap because there are people who are using these illicit substances in the wrong way”.
“I want to let you guys know that I’m here for the music, that’s why I’m here.” Skrillex proclaimed. “I know that you are all here for the music too, deep down inside, no matter what life you choose to live. So I’m asking you one thing, to get home safe and take care of yours friends, take care of each other. Because the last thing that I want to happen, is to know that I was up here when something bad out there happened.”
“Just so you know, I care about each and everyone of you so much, you have no idea. I’ve been doing this for years and I’m doing this for the love of the music and to see you guys have the best fucking time ever.”
HARD successfully proved that they are here to maintain a positive image, as well as keep the focus on the musical aspects within the scene as a whole. All of the five stages were indoor and housed in exhibition halls. Which made it easy to quickly split from one stage to the next. As the party was fading into the night, HARD Day of the Dead embraced music lovers of all genres.