Dog Blood reveal HARD Summer will be their only festival in 2017

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Perhaps the best surprise of the HARD Summer Musical Festival 10th anniversary line-up was the news that Dog Blood would be topping the bill in 2017. As the supergroup side project conceived by Skrillex and Boys Noize, the two haven’t appeared together since HARD Red Rocks nearly two years ago.

On May 18th, however, Dog Blood took to their Facebook socials to express their excitement for HSMF, but also to announce to fans that it would be their only show in 2017. The announcement most likely comes as a joy to HARD founder Gary Richards, since Dog Blood is sure to draw in a massive crowd on their own. Now that it’s been confirmed as their first and only show in nearly two years, tickets should be start flying off the decks.

Maybe there’s a possibility for the return of Dog Blood in 2018? There’s no way to know for sure, but their HARD Summer appearance is sure to be the 2017 festival set to see. Grab tickets here to join Dog Blood August 5-6, 2017 at The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

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Check out a 360° view of Holy Ship

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The wonders of 360° photography are allowing people to have an even more immersive streaming experience when it comes to events they cannot attend. This year, a fan operating under the guise of EDM Daycare took a camera to Holy Ship’s first weekend to capture a snippet of the action for those wondering what it might be like to party with Destructo and his crew onboard a ship en route to paradise.

The clip clocks in at a brief two minutes, but images of people happily partying on the beach and on the boat decks along with crowds of people walking happily through vibrantly-lit rooms transformed into dance spaces is just enough to spark enough intrigue for potential festival-goers to try joining the party in 2018. Explore the ship’s majesty in the video player above.

H/T: EDM Daycare

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Ecstasy confirmed as cause of death in 3 Hard Summer fatalities

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Back in August, three attendees of HARD Summer — all between the ages of 20 and 22 years old — tragically passed away at the Southern California music festival. Hot weather was deemed a contributing factor, with temperatures reaching the upper-90s throughout the weekend. The primary causes of death, however, were not immediately clear.

Nearly four months later, the coroner has issued an official report, confirming ecstasy as the primary cause of death in all three cases. Mike Sutcliffe, the supervising coroner investigator, labeled the deaths as due to “acute MDMA toxicity.”

According to Fontana Herald News, who reported the coroner’s statement, the three deaths are believed to be “the most ever caused by Ecstasy at one high-profile Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival.”

It’s troubling news for HARD Summer, who experienced two deaths the year prior, also linked to ecstasy overdose. More than that, however, it’s a sobering reminder about the inherent dangers of MDMA and the absolutely necessity for more drug safety awareness. Nothing will change until we change the culture itself.

Kaskade: ‘The war on drugs is a farce’

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Last week, HARD revealed that Day of the Dead would not take place in 2016 – marking the first year the event production company has not held a Halloween event in the Los Angeles area since establishing HARD Haunted Mansion in 2008. Dispelling rumors that DOTD had been cancelled in response to the deaths at this year’s HARD Summer, spokeswoman Alexandra Greenberg commented, “HARD decided earlier in the year not to schedule it this year for production reasons. Preparing for two festivals at two new locations (HARD SUMMER and HARD Day of the Dead) so close together would have been too much of a strain on their resources.”

Despite the truth of Greenberg’s statement, Los Angeles Times posted an article entitled, “After a summer of deaths, popular Halloween rave won’t be held,” analyzing the circumstances leading to HARD’s inability to establish a permanent venue for Los Angeles events, and quoting statistics of substance abuse-related deaths at raves.

In response to the paper’s article, Kaskade wrote an editorial on his own website, taking issue with the article’s title and the implicit characterization that raves can be considered responsible parties for individual patrons’ drug-related deaths.

“Really. A summer of deaths. Really.”

In his response, Kaskade contrasts the statistics for substance-related deaths at raves with the average number of daily deaths caused by drunk driving accidents. Kaskade writes, “So, in the past 10 years there have been 21 substance-related deaths at dance events. And EVERY DAY there are 27 substance-related deaths, which are somehow less news and attention worthy. I suppose once you reach a certain point, the news doesn’t notice anymore.”

Kaskade goes on to note that he would like to use his platform to help prevent fatalities from substance abuse, strongly emphasizing the inefficacy of prohibitive measures as solutions:

“I’m happy to tackle substance abuse. I’m happy to use my influence to encourage people to be responsible, to stay alive. But this is a world-wide problem, something that is not even close to being unique to dance music. Part of the problem is people trying to simple-size it. Raves = drugs. So close them down.

“Not going to work, and we all know it. Time to devote your column inches to some real stories. The war on drugs is a farce. There are better answers than regurgitating the same alarmist solutions that have never worked, which will NEVER work. Try this on: education, harm reduction and legalization.”

Kaskade’s argument against prohibitive solutions in many ways mirrors Pasquale Rotella’s response to LA County’s proposed rave ban in August 2015. However, Kaskade’s message carries a different weight than Rotella’s – and those of most other vocal dissenters to rave prohibition. Kaskade’s platform is influential not only because of his reach, but also because of who Kaskade is.

As a mormon, Kaskade is staunchly sober for religious reasons. His frank acknowledgment that the war on drugs is a “farce” cannot be misconstrued to be an apologist statement; his assertion that “regurgitating alarmist solutions” is an ineffective reaction to drug fatalities is an objective observation, in spite of his personal attitude toward drug use.

The degree to which Kaskade’s observations will be heeded by lawmakers and the media remains to be seen. Los Angeles Times amended their article to reference the producer’s comments after his article’s publication.

Via: Kaskade, Los Angeles Times