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Hard Summer's Gary Richards splits with Live Nation

 (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Days before the 10th anniversary of the EDM and hip-hop festival Hard Summer, fest founder Gary Richards has announced that he will be parting ways with Hard's parent firm, Live Nation.

Richards posted a statement  after making several previous allusions to a potential exit. L.A. Weekly broke the news of his separation, which comes five years after Live Nation bought his firm. 

"I am leaving Live Nation after this week's Hard event to pursue an incredible new opportunity that I will share with everyone in the weeks to come. Accordingly, I will not be attending or curating the next Holy Ship cruise event in 2018," Richards wrote.

Live Nation will keep control of the Hard Events brand and shows, though it's uncertain who will take the reins of booking the events in the future.

The festival is synonymous with Richards' unorthodox tastes, and helped launch the careers of DJ's including Diplo, Steve Aoki and Skrillex. But Hard Events also made for uneasy bedfellows with rival Live Nation promoter Insomniac, which produces Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.

Representatives for Hard declined to comment further on the widely reported rumors that Richards would be moving to rival promoter LiveStyle, the firm spun off from the promoter SFX Entertainment. 

Fans of Hard Events have already circulated a petition pledging to boycott future editions of the popular cruise series Holy Ship.

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