top of page

How Hard was HARD SUMMER 2023?

Check out our closed case on SoCal's most anticipated festival of the summer:

Photo via @ginajoyphoto

Hard Summer Music Festival just took place in LA Historical Park last weekend. Having previously been held in San Bernardino at the National Orange Show Event Center, this was the first time in a decade that the festival has returned to Los Angeles. Now that we're back home from one of California's most anticipated festivals of the summer, we're here to talk about our favorite sets and more!

Who did we love?

With such a stacked lineup, it's impossible to pick a best set of the weekend. There were zero misses, but we've narrowed it down to a handful of our favorites:

This set was everything a trap head could've dreamed of and more. The legends themselves closed out Hard Summer on Sunday at the Green Stage. Despite playing at the same time as Skrillex and Four Tet, these guys packed the stage out (TRAP IS UP). Yellow Claw and Flosstradamus played all of our favorite OG trap bangers. To hear and see anthems like these live all in one set again with such a massive production was just phenomenal. It was sexy, it was nostalgic, it was a little bit ratchet and it was an absolute party.

Photo via @jakewestphoto

IT HZ made their Los Angeles debut on Saturday at Hard Summer. Taking over the HARDER Stage, these South African kings knocked it out of the park. Let me just say, if you've ever seen Jon Casey perform, or even if you've seen him at someone else's performance, you know what I mean when I say his stage presence is unmatched. Seeing him and Chee play along side each other is an absolute treat. It's so apparent how well the mesh together and their energy is infectious not just to each other, but to the crowd as well. As producers and DJs, these guys are masters at what they do.

Video via @jardinekc

It should come as no surprise that Space Laces made it on this list. He proved himself once again as one of the dubstep GOATs on Sunday at the Green Stage. From new IDs, his classics, unreleased collabs (including his highly anticipated collab with Skrillex), and remixes, this set was the perfect concoction to keep everyone jumping and headbanging for 60 straight minutes. He even brought out trap god Boombox Cartel to play is ridiculously sick edit of Dominate.

Video via @dsdpdante

This article wouldn't be complete without mentioning the inspiring success of the San Diego Water Boys at Hard Summer this year. ISOxo was at the main HARD stage on Saturday, while Knock2 and Frosttop were both at the HARDER stage on Sunday. All three of them played to enormous overflowing crowds of adoring fans. To watch these guys grow to this point has been nothing short incredible. From starting off as a group of friends with a similar dream to being in their early 20s playing mainstages at one of the biggest festivals on the west coast, it's one of those stories that will go down in history.

How was the venue?

Love it or hate it, NOS Event Center has been a great venue for Hard Summer. The stages are solid, and it's condensed enough to where the walks aren't too crazy, but areas aren't too compact. Festival goers were curious as to what it was going to be like back in the city of angels this year.

In my opinion, the biggest upgrade that came with moving back to LA Historical Park was the Green Stage. While we always had a blast at this stage in the NOS, the famous LA Coliseum made it so much more epic. Walking under the Olympic rings and down the grandiose stairs to a massive bass stage in the middle of the floor was pretty sick. There was also seating allowed if attendees wanted to watch from the stands.

Green Stage. Photo via @ohdagyo

The production at all five stages was top tier. Most of them also had multiple shaded coverings, which were necessary since the first sets started at 2 PM each day. The walks were a bit further than at the NOS, but nothing out of the ordinary for a major festival.

As far as VIP goes, the pool which is usually at the HARD stage was moved over to the HARDER stage this year. The VIP area at the Purple stage was partially indoors on the lower level of BMO Stadium, including indoor restrooms, seating, and a bar.

Photo via @skygreene

Closing our case on the 15th edition of Hard Summer Music Festival, we will be curious to see if Insomniac brings it back to LA Historical Park again in 2024. Until then, you can still listen to our Hard Summer Playlist on Spotify.

See you next year!


EDM News Reporter, Kelly Jardine, can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

Follow Dubstep FBI on socials:


bottom of page