LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Gary Richards, president of Live Style, North America, recently talked to the Los Angeles Times about his upcoming All My Friends festival and made it clear it is not a carbon copy of what used to be his flagship event, Hard Summer, which is taking place just a few weeks earlier.
“I had to try to figure out a new formula for the music,” Richards, aka Destructo, told the paper. “We’ve rinsed out a lot of the EDM and made it more into live music – 27-35, that’s our audience.
“We want to skew to more mature tastes, people who have graduated from David Guetta.”
Richards is considered a kind of godfather of EDM events and was the founder of the Insomniac parties before the title and show moved over to Pasquale Rotella and the Live Nation brand. Richards eventually created his company Hard Events, which organized festivals like Hard Summer and the Holy Ship! cruise. Live Nation recently bought a majority stake in Hard Events, putting Richards and Rotella under the same corporate umbrella. Not only did some contention arise regarding who could play what festival, but fatal overdoses at Hard Summer brought unwanted attention on the event.
Richards, however, exited his own company last fall and has never officially said why. He took up shop a few weeks later with Live Nation competitor LiveStyle, aka SFX Entertainment prior to the exit of founder Robert F.X. Sillerman. Richard’s cruise, Holy Ship!, still exists without him although the regular attendees known as the Shipfam protested his leaving.
However, Richards apparently still considered his audience his friends. Not soon after joining LiveStyle, Richards formed a subsidiary called AMFAMF, or All My Friends, and invited, well, all of his friends to join him on his cruise, aptly titled the Friendship. That cruise is sold out.
Recently he announced the All My Friends concert, scheduled for Aug. 18-19. It occurs two weekends after Live Nation puts on HARD Summer Music Festival April 4-5.
All the makings were there for a showdown, but Richards made no such acknowledgment in the interview, instead touting the mature lineup and its location at Row DTLA, a creative space and shopping district in downtown L.A.
“I always wanted to be back in downtown,” he told the Times. “This is a city festival, it feels urban. It’s set up for three stages so when you look at all the buildings, it makes a cool cityscape feel.”
The festival is headlined by R&B’s Jhené Aiko, rap’s Gucci Mne and club-music’s Jamie XX, plus acts like M.I.A. – not exactly the oontz-oontz, pea-soup-pea-soup extravaganza of Hard Summer. He said that starting over does feel like stepping into the unknown.
“It feels amazing, thank God I’ve still got these fans,” he said. “I want to over-deliver for them, but also stretch them a bit with the music. It’s definitely time for a change.”
Hard Summer is scheudled for the Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The lineup has yet to be announced.