jakub | August 10, 2023

Hard Summer ’23 RECAP – The Festival Voice


85 degrees, clear skies and just enough wind to dry off our perspiration.

Held in our very own concrete jungle, Hard Summer was hot enough to give their attendees some color, but windy enough to cool their attendees down. I’ve been attending Hard events since 2015, and although Hard Summer may have had it’s logistical ups and downs, I would say it was pretty near perfect. The pros significantly outweighed the cons (the cons being completely out of my control) this year and I’m here to personally to tell you how, what and why and also share my favorite set of the weekend!

  1. The venue.
    I can’t think of a more appropriate space that can not only separate five glorious stages bumping their own genres, but also semi-comfortably fit 200,000+ attendees. Excluding the front of the stages where the lack of space didn’t stop fans from head-banging and shaking what their mama gave them, there was ample space to do the very same in the back. Furthermore, the utilization of stage placement not only gave us a really fun adventure to and from different stages, but prevented sound clashing.
  2. Top-tier medical team.
    Insomniac prides themselves with their free on-site medical care. From band-aids, mole skin, tampons and advil to the more the crucial Narcan, breathing treatments and IV fluids. To no surprise, Prevent Medical Solutions were on their A-game. Finding a medical provider wearing the red-shirts was as easy as finding your local starbucks. Stationed at each stage, Prevent’s medical teams had their eyes and ears peeled, looking for anyone that may need assistance. Too far from a medical tent? Too many blisters on your feet? No problem. The field teams carried a fully-equipped backpack complete of whatever basic medical necessities an attendee may need. Knowing that Prevent Medical Solutions is the primary medical company that works Insomniac shows, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that my friends, myself and other attendees are in good hands.
  3. PRODUCTION. VALUE.
    What do we know Insomniac for? Their awesome food vendors? Merch? The line-up? How about the vibes? I’m sure it’s a combination of all the above, but for a majority of those that I asked, the main reason why they keep coming back to Hard Summer is for Insomniac’s over-the-top production value. Lasers, fireworks, smoke machines, a WHOLE LOTTA bass and my personal favorite, pyrotechnics (fire). It’s almost overwhelming, but absolutely astounding to see how much work Insomniac’s production has put into each of their stages. Takes my breath away every time.

Now my favorite set of the weekend: Diplo B2B BLOND:ISH

I’m a house head ’til the day I DIE. My butt was planted at the purple stage where Jungle, Disco Lines and Hayden James performed, but the set I was least expecting to slap as hard as it did was Diplo B2B BLOND:ISH. This set had everything from an opulent blend of house and dub, lasers and pyro that made your heart rate spike, beautifully psychedelic visuals and best of all, 360 immaculate vibes.

Matt Winkelmeyer for HARD Summer.

Not to say that

I didn’t enjoy any other sets or day II. Hard Summer 2023 was an absolute blast in all aspects, but being blown away by Diplo B2B BLOND:ISH and John Summit, the perfect weather and being with my favorite crew of gals, day 1 simply checked all the boxes.

Eliana Milgrom for HARD Summer



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