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HARD Summer 2023 Festival Review

by Arad Javaheri
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HARD Summer 2023 was one for the books! Insomniac made its way back to The Coliseum after 13 years and we finally got to experience the beautiful sunset over the iconic stadium as the best artists in the world took over five massive stages. Check out our review of the festival below and let us know what your experience was like!


This was the first time I’ve experienced a multi-stadium event and even more stages outside of stadiums. This layout created some challenges in navigating the venue but I loved the opportunity of being able to experience stages inside stadiums. All over social media a lot of attendees have complained about overly packed areas when traveling between stages, personally, we did not experience anything more difficult than what we were already used to. there was almost always more than one way to get to your destination and we just avoided the route that looked more busy.

The production of the stages was amazing! It was great to see something new from the usual scene at NOS Event Center. I couldn’t help to consistently look around at the beautiful stadiums we were in and soak in all the energy. Getting to sit down in the bleachers and watch the show as we rested between sets was a great bonus. Some attendees mentioned the sound at HARD stages was not great, we did not spend too much time at that stage but we thought the sound at both stadiums was top-notch. We could feel the bass in our souls so don’t forget to pack earplugs!

HARD Summer 2023

Keiki Lani Knudsen for HARD Summer


HARD Summer lineups never disappoint. Packed with legends and rising acts, this lineup had a little bit for everyone at all times. One of my favorites was Netsky who was one the final of four back-to-back drum and bass acts taking over The Coliseum. The crowd came out and showed an overwhelming response to the rising genre and even Netsky himself took to the mic to thank the crowd for bringing the energy and showing love to his genre. Bicep’s live show was the best set I saw all weekend. The slow and hypnotic set showed off the mastery of the duo and that you don’t always need a tone of elements to blow away a crowd. Honorable mention to 21 Savage who was the first rap artist I’ve seen in a long time. The crowd seemed to enjoy his set and he played his classics. Overall every artist brought their A-game and curated a special performance for this festival.

HARD Summer 2023

Scott Hutchinson for HARD Summer-min


HARD has had a reputation of not being the best for vibes, many attendees are first time festival goers and do not know much about PLUR. Some reviewers mentioned on social media they experience some bad crowds but for us everyone we interacted with was a great time! Almost every person we met traveled from far away places to get to the festival so they brought good vibes and just wanted to have a great time. There are bad apples everywhere but if you keep your focus on the good ones it always seems to work out!


After living in Austin, TX for about a year and a half now I had a blast being back in the SoCal festival scene. This was the most fun I’ve had at a festival in some time and I plan on going back next year! I hope to see the festival back in the same venue.

HARD Summer 2023

Skyler Greene for HARD Summer-min

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