The Pros And Cons Of HARD Summer 2015

August 1 & 2, 2015
Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, CA


PRO: The line-up was more diverse than other years, featuring performers other than DJ’s which featured rappers, Die Antwoord, Fetty Wap, Schoolboy Q, R&B singer, The Weeknd, plus more. The 2 day festival also included many special surprise guests which included Jack Black, Justin Bieber, Kid Ink and others.

CON: The line-up had many of the same artists as previous years so it would have been great to change the line-up a bit more and bring in new artists, not the same ones as previous years.


da-7-2PRO: There were a total of 5 stages, with 3 being indoors and all next to each other, making it easy to see different acts without walking too far. The main stage (HARD Stage) was far away from everything, in an open field so it could fit everyone. The bleachers/seating were also available  at the HARD stage which offered shade during the day. The main stage had fireworks and an amazing screen setup which projected different images which made each performer’s set more enjoyable.

CON: The indoor stages had capacity problems, because they did not hold enough people so hundreds were forced to stay outside and miss their favorite acts. Further, the outdoor stages were miserable during the day- I saw Slow Magic for 5 minutes and had to move because the blacktop was burning my feet (I was wearing Vans). As for the HARD stage, because it was in such an open field, the music wasn’t nearly as loud as it should have or could have been. If you were in the back, then you weren’t able to see because the stage was too low to see the guest performers from afar.

 THE FOOD: odesza-9-2

PRO: There were many food options/ food trucks which ranged from Korean BBQ, Grilled Cheese, chicken tenders, to ice cream and even watermelon slices to help cool fans off. Also- free water was offered at multiple re-fill stations which was really great because we were in the hundreds, weather wise.

CON: The prices- food was insanely expensive. It was $8.00 for 1 slice of pizza! I paid $12.00 for a BLT- it hurt my soul. It’s a festival so it will be expensive, but those prices we just ridiculous and there should have been more affordable options.



PRO: There was a good amount of fun things to do when you weren’t listening to music; these things included multiple Ferris Wheels around the venue, a Yo-Yo which would lift and spin you in circles and a couple other “roller coaster” type attractions. Not really entertainment, but a nice addition were misting stations placed throughout the venue where fans could stand in the shade, and be sprayed with mist. There were some air conditioned rooms as well where fans could relax and charge their phones. Best of all- these attractions were free!

CON: There is really nothing to complain about regarding the non-musical entertainment. It IS a music festival but the non-musical entertainment was a nice touch and made the experience more enjoyable.



 PRO: If you were in the front row, the sound was usually great. The indoor stages were perfect for everyone, sound wise throughout the 2 days and never really had any problems.

CON: Unfortunately the only real sound problems occurred at the 2 main stages. During day 2’s headliner, Jack Ü’s performance, the sound was constantly cutting out and if you weren’t in the front row at the HARD or HARDER stages, it didn’t sound nearly as good as it could have, with the bass not hitting as hard (no pun intended).



ju-3PRO: Most performers performed long enough so fans could catch a little bit of different artist’s sets (on the main stages). Thankfully, most times did not clash and when they did- artists performed long enough to catch a little of both.

CON: The smaller unknown performers who were on main stage usually had longer set times than the bigger artists in the indoor stages. Some of the bigger artists who performed indoors only had 30 minutes to perform while a no-name had an hour. It was really unfortunate especially considering that hundreds of people weren’t allowed inside due to capacity problems. Further, popular artists had clashing set times including Ratatat and Jack Ü, What So Not and Die Antwoord and many others throughout the 2 day festival.


 OTHER: tw-5-2

 BATHROOMS: There were many, yes- but most were Port-o-Potties which had been uncovered & standing in the 100 degree weather for days which made for a daunting bathroom experience.

DRUGS:  Of course EDM festival’s are notoriously known for drugs and unfortunately, two 19 year old girls passed away from apparent overdose on the first day of the festival. By the end of each night, it was easy to tell that most of the crowd was on some type of drug which could be irritating for those who don’t want to be around it and dangerous for those consuming them.



Regardless of all the problems, HARD Summer definitely impressed.


Review by: Kayla Sand