After witnessing two tragic deaths due to suspected drug overdoses at HARD Summer this August, HARD was hit with some major scrutiny from law enforcement and, in turn, faced logistical problems regarding its upcoming Day of the Dead festival. Following the summer’s unfortunate tragedies, Los Angeles city officials cracked down on the county’s electronic music scene and attempted to ban large scale music festival in the area altogether, which prompted HARD’s parent corporation, Live Nation, to make some serious changes to the annual Halloween celebration. Some of the changes include enacting a capacity cap of 40,000 attendees, putting a 21+ age restriction on the event, and enlisting more police involvement within the festival. On top of these initial adjustments, Day of the Dead just announced a 100% press blackout only days before the event. HARD’s last minute “no media policy” came as an unwelcome and confusing surprise to many, as hopeful reporters from the media have been completely denied of press access.
Speculators suggest that the media blackout policy may be due to pressure from Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors, who were responsible for the event’s capacity cap and age restriction. This move may have been imposed to protect any bad press from reaching the general public outside of the festival, which seems like a highly unlikely outcome. Unfortunately, HARD has yet to comment or offer an explanation regarding the sudden policy change, but did state that this hardline policy is across-the-board.