HARD Summer: one of the craziest festivals to hit the LA area during the summer circuit festival flurry. If you had the chance to attend this years HARD Summer in Whittier Narrows Recreation Area then you were doing it right. For all those who didn't, here is a tip guide for next year's HARD.
1. Bring A Bandana
Holy cow, a wild dust storm appears! But seriously, the dust this year at HARD Summer was out of control. Luckily my group had gone to the festival last year and knew about the possibility of some serious dust. We stopped at a store on the way to HARD to pick up a bandana for each person.
Man we were set! After about 10 minutes of being at the festival, dirt covered my whole body. Wearing the bandana around your face is for sure the way to go. Not only can it be stylish, but it allows for your lungs to keep on breathing while you're going crazy!
Make sure you cop a Kill the Noise
bandana to beat the dust HERE!
2. Memorize Your Friend's Schedules
Let me start by saying this year's festival grounds were huge. I could not believe the amount of walking it took to get from the HARD Stage
to the Green Tent,
which were on the complete opposite sides of the festival. To be honest, it felt like I was walking a half marathon. With all of that space it is easy to get lost.
But in all seriousness, a large festival means a lot of acts everyone wants to see. There is nothing worse than having a huge schedule conflict that splits up your group. My solution, memorize your friends schedules. Just look at this crazy lineup:
HARD Summer passes out schedules so you don't have to waste your phone battery every single time you look to switch stages. It also allows for you to plan out your day pretty well. I found myself wanting to go to different acts than everyone else in my group. Normally that would be okay, but, there is NO CELL SERVICE!
You read that right. None, nada, zip, zero. Alright, when I say zero, I mean I got 12 texts in a row on day one because I somehow got a bar of reception. The Green Tent
, where almost no one was, seemed to be the one place there was better service. But if you were anywhere else, you could have kissed your service goodbye.
For me, personally, who cares right?! I'm there to enjoy the music and have an amazing time. But for others who need to get in contact or meet up with their group, it possesses a HUGE
problem. Here's where memorizing your friends schedules come in handy. Day 2 of the festival I decided to wander off by myself for around 5 hours, running from tent to tent, house set to house set. Meanwhile my friends were at the HARD
stages. I knew everyone would be going to Disclosure, so my plan; get there early and scout out an ideal spot to watch all the incoming festival goers. Presto! Found them. It's just that easy. Well, it might have taken 15 min or so, but still, knowing where your friends are is way easier than waiting hours for a text to not send and being stuck alone at an amazing set.
3. Don't, Under Any Circumstances, Step In Mud
At this point you are probably thinking, duh who steps in mud? Let me give you a little back story to better understand this tip. After a long set of dancing in the hot summer sun, I wanted to refill my water to get ready for another long dance session. This is where I came into a huge problem. The lines for water were extremely long, and I was looking for any shortcut possible. One side of the water station had zero people. Why? Because over the day the water had spilled everywhere and created quite the muddy situation.
After realizing going through the mud would take merely seconds, I decided the mud couldn't be that deep and that the people were not wanting to get their shoes dirty. But after being at HARD all day, that is somewhat impossible with all the dust flying around in the air. I figured, why not tread lightly over the mud and only get the base of my shoe wet.
Man would that have been nice. The first step, straight into the sink hole, not only covering my whole shoe, but part of my leg. I stopped right there, backed up, and got out of the mud. My whole foot was wet and there was still a huge part of the day left. There has got to be nothing worse then walking around all day with a wet foot, shoe, and sock. I learned my lesson the hard way. So here is my warning to you. DON'T STEP IN MUD!
4. Stay Hydrated
If you looked at this year's festival safety and information, then you might have noticed HARD Summer is notorious for allowing almost next to nothing into the venue. That even included camelbacks. I personally could not believe that they would not allow camelbacks when the event is during the middle of summer in SoCal. Call me dumb, but I think that is crazy.
While they did have free water refill stations throughout the festival grounds, the only way to carry water was to spend $4 on a water bottle, and depending on the vendor, would come with or without a cap to keep the water sealed. I found myself digging through garbage cans behind vendors to pick up a bottle cap. I even asked one time and the vendor told me that they could give me the cap if I would tip them $10. Now that is just wrong.
While I may not understand the full reason for banning all the items that they do, I would think that HARD Events would want their patrons to have easy access to water. With that said, it was easily over 90 degrees both days. Luckily day one had cloud cover the whole day and it even rained during Jack U
's set at night. Which, if I might say, the lasers refracting off the rain drops was something else. That is still not to say, please be careful and get water at any and all opportunities. I found myself leaving during some of my favorite sets to go get hydrated. Why? Because being dehydrated wasn't an option for me.
5. Have Fun And Go HARD!
Last but not least, make sure to have one killer time at HARD Summer. Isn't that the whole point of going to a festival in the first place? Something about HARD makes people go insane. They come out from all corners of the earth and come to rage. Even though you were not allowed to bring totems, I saw so many people with different signs and custom strawberry hats.
HARD is everyones one chance to go wild and crazy with 30,000 other people who want to go wild and crazy. Each one of their stages and set ups are so unique that you will always been blown away. This year they added another stage for a whopping total of 5. They also went from one tent last year to 3 tents this year.
You honestly can't go wrong with HARD Summer. The line up ever year is killer and the vibes are out of this world. This was my second year and I already cannot wait to go back. In the wise words of Jack U
Make sure to check out OTB's official review of HARD Summer HERE!