After seeing the electronic music trend change “800 million times,” Gary Richards, DJ and organizer of the Hard electronic music events, says he learned a lot when it comes to throwing concerts and creating music.
“I think people get into electronic music and really have no idea how or why,” Richards said in a recent telephone interview. “Their friends are into it, they heard it on the radio, whatever, so then they come to a festival. So it opens their ears to the next wave, they get more educated on it and then they realize that this is even better than what they heard the first time on the radio.”
On Saturday and Sunday, Richards is bringing Hard Day of the Dead to Pomona for the first time at the Fairplex.
Day of the Dead will host some of the world’s most famous DJs and producers, including Diplo, Calvin Harris, Knife Party, Zedd, Bassnectar and Araabmuzik.
According to Richards, switching the venue was essential since it has air-conditioned buildings, plenty of parking and easy freeway access.
When Richards isn’t busy being a well-known electronic music promoter, he develops new artists in the genre. When it comes to booking talent, he just wants someone who presents something he hasn’t heard before, since “electronic music is pretty easy to make and copy.”
“I’ve been to the studio so many times where somebody is like, ‘Check out this song, it sounds like Deadmau5,’” said Richards. “But it’s like, yeah, there is only one Deadmau5; we don’t want the copy, we want the original.”
Along with renowned DJs, there will be carnival rides, a zip line and a “Dirtybird BBQ.”
Claude Vonstroke, Richards’ friend and owner of Dirtybird Records, is known for hosting the electronic music events with a barbecue component throughout North America. Both thought closing out the 2014 barbecue series at Day of the Dead would be an excellent fit for the festival.
The Dirtybird crew, which includes Justin Martin, Eats Everything and Catz n’ Dogz, will be serving up their signature brand of house music and food thanks to personal chef, Grillson.
But the food is only one aspect of the festival, which will host more than 50 acts. Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-time attendee, Richards reminded all patrons to be prepared.
“Don’t get lost. There’s going to be thousands and thousands of people there; have a meet-up place and be ready to throw down,” he said. “But get some rest. By the end of the weekend you feel like you’ve been to a marathon.”