Gary Richards, aka DJ/producer and founder of HARD events, Destructo, is set to leave the EDM brand he’s been manning since 2007 to join direct competitor, LiveStyle.
Run by former AEG executive Randy Phillips, Richards is set to move to LiveStyle (the rebranded version of now-bankrupt promoters SFX), who own mega festivals like Tomorrowland in Belgium and Electric Zoo in the States.
Richards announced the news via Facebook earlier today (3rd August), adding he has nothing but respect for Live Nation — the company that bought a 50.1 per cent stake in Richards' HARD brand back in 2012.
Following the purchase, Richards agreed to stay on as the public face of HARD for five years, and with that contract period now finally over, is officially moving on.
He also confirmed via Facebook that he won’t play HARD's Holy Ship festival in 2018 — the boat-based rave-up he founded and has played at every year since its inception — writing: “Accordingly, I will not be attending or curating the next Holy Ship cruise event in 2018.”
Holy Ship alumni have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment at Richards’ exit, with Skrillex tweeting: “No way would I have ever done @HOLY_SHIP if it wasn’t for @DestructoHARD …almost positive I can speak for most of the artists,” and Boyz Noize sharing a link to a petition demanding Richards’ reinstatement.
Look back at a decade of HARD with Destructo here.