The Scene @ Hard Summer 2023 (Los Angeles, USA)
By / August 11, 2023

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The 15th annual Hard Summer returned to downtown Los Angeles this August 5-6 with a sold-out show of 100,000 attendees. Hard Summer had a ton to offer for its return to the city, featuring 5 massive stages, 28 food vendors, VIP pools, a Ferris wheel, vibrant murals, art installations, and unforgettable performances from renowned artists. As everyone is still buzzing from the past weekend, Music Festival Wizard is here with its official festival recap of Hard Summer 2023. 

Keiki Lani Knudsen for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Keiki-Lani Knudsen for HARD Summer

Hard Summer featured five tremendous stages. The main stages, Hard and Harder, were located on opposite corners of the festival and stacked with screens, beaming lasers, booming speakers, and the main headliners. The Purple Stage, located in the BMO Stadium, and the Green Stage found in the LA Memorial Coliseum were equally as large as the main stages. Wherever you stood, every area of both arenas had a perfect view. The Pink Stage was located next to the Purple Stage in a smaller grassy area, and although it was smaller compared to the others, its picture-worthy setup remained standing tall.

Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Day 1: Kaskade b2b John Summit, Kayzo b2b Sullivan King, Diesel, and 21 Savage

Day 1 of Hard couldn’t have been more highly anticipated. With the debut of its return to Los Angeles in 10 years,  everyone was in need to know how to navigate around, seeing how big the venue was, and the distance from each stage. Sure enough, everyone was able to get their steps in. Compared to Hard’s other venues in the past, this one provided many areas of shading, which helped with the heating temperature. Saturday’s lineup was filled with many talented acts. CHYL, Odd Mob, Blossom, Noizu, ISOxo, and Dillon Francis, took over the Hard stage while Devault, Fat Joe, Kaivon, 4B B2B JSTJR, and others had the Harder stage covered. 

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Granted all of the artists had astounding performances, but one set that particularly stood out was from It’s Murph. The LA-based house producer was not on the original lineup, however, on the day of the festival, he was called with exciting news to perform at the Purple Stage. Without hesitation, It’s Murph acted upon the opportunity, having a successful turnout at his set. The crowd was on the same wavelength and everyone was pleased with his performance, featuring remixes of iconic hits “Give It To Me” by Nelly Furtado and “Work” by A$AP Ferg along with other house-vibing tracks. It’s Murph finished his set with his career-making single, “Food for the Soul.” From what was supposed to be an assignment from school, It’s Murph went above and beyond and exceptionally promoted this hit through TikTok. The engagement of this track set It’s Murph up for many opportunities throughout the year, including a set at this year’s Coachella and now Hard Summer. His remarkable performance at Purple Stage marked this as my personal favorite set of the entire festival. 

Jake West for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Jake West for HARD Summer

Day 1 closed out with legendary performances from Kaskade b2b John Summit, Kayzo b2b Sullivan King, Diesel, 21 Savage, and Gorgon City. It was a tough decision for everyone deciding on which set to post up at since each and every one of these acts gave it their all. We decided to be at the Hard Stage for the Kaskade b2b John Summit. Both DJs balanced each other out, bringing in ravers from the early 2010s and new ravers with Kaskade classics and John Summit bangers. Overall, Day 1 was a hit!

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Day 2: Skrillex B2B Four Tet, Knock2, Yellow Claw B2B Flosstradamus, and Kid Cudi

After settling in during the first day, Sunday at Hard was only getting started. Day 2’s roster included MK B2B Sonny Fodera, Disco Lines, Wuki, Blanke, Space Laces, Ludacris, Oliver Tree, Kai Wachi, Peekaboo, AC Slater B2B Chris Lorenzo, and more.

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

The most talked about performance from Sunday had to be from Knock2. San Diego-based legend Knock2 has been on the come-up for the past year, touring across North America with his Room202 set. Knock2 brought out unmatched energy getting everyone in the crowd constantly jumping. Knock2 opened with one of his latest releases with NGHTMRE titled “One Chance”, and throughout his set, followed up with some of his other tracks like “gettin’ hott”, “Make U SWEAT!”, and “Rock Ur World”. At one point, he brought out his best friend, ISOxo, who also had a set at Hard on Saturday. They played out a couple of their tracks, including “Beam (Knock2 Remix)”. Lastly, Knock2 closed his performance with the notorious “dashstar*”, a track commonly played out by many DJs in their own sets. All in all, everyone can agree that the vibes were extremely high at Knock2.

Photo Credit: Skylar Greene for HARD Summer

Hard Summer finished off with closers Skrillex B2B Four Tet, Deorro, Yellow Claw B2B Flosstradamus, Kid Cudi, and The Martinez Brothers. This was also a difficult decision to make, however, we stuck with Skrillex B2B Four Tet. This power duo ended the festival with ultimate bangers and never-before-seen remixes. What makes them unique is how they experiment ways of blending different genres of music and creating new genres of their own. Ending the night with Skrillex B2B Four Tet was the ideal way to wrap up an awesome weekend at Hard.

Photo Credit: Keiki-Lani Knudsen for HARD Summer

This concludes our rundown of Hard Summer 2023. Despite it being the peak of summer, the heat didn’t stop everyone from going hard. The new venue followed by a legendary lineup of artists made for a memorable weekend of electronic music. We look forward to what’s in store for next year and many more to come! 

Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Back in 2017, I attended my first rave and it completely changed my life. Since then, I have fully immersed myself with the dance music space, specializing in blogging, artist/label management, DJing, and shuffling. Here to blog some of the many trendiest festivals, raves, shows, and more!