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What can you tell me about the Hard Summer Music Festival?

Where is it? When and how dangerous is it? When I mentioned Hard Summer death was the first thought that came to my dad’s mind. Is that because Hard Summer dates are in high summer, or is it one of those legendary rock festivals where people go around handing out drugs? Should my parents forbid me to go to the Hard Summer Music Festival? I am nineteen, a junior in college, drug-free, I’m at home in summer and I would like to have fun during holidays.

Mindee Nelson

in Events and Holidays

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Jennifer Patterson on August 1, 2018

The Hard Summer Music Festival’s worst publicity moment came in 2016 when some people failed to realize how badly MDMA mixes with extreme heat: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-hard-summer-rave-ecstasy-overdose-20161130-story.html .

That’s why security’s been tightened to international airport levels, banning not only bottled water people might bring from home but even unsealed personal hygiene products: https://www.hardsummer.com/info/#acceptable-items . (You might not want to think about how some personal hygiene supplies would be used to smuggle drugs, but people have tried it.) The event organizers can’t control what people do in their homes, cars, or hotel rooms, but they’re working hard to deliver a great safe party.

The Hard Summer deaths of Alyssa Dominguez, Derek Lee, and Roxanne Ngo were classified as overdoses. Stimulants like MDMA and cocaine can kill vulnerable people under any circumstances and they are especially lethal in combination with high temperatures. In Southern California, 95-degree afternoons are normal; 2018 has been a hot year, with 115-degree hot days.

Will people manage to sneak illegal drugs into Hard Fest? Event organizers will be working hard to prevent that, but somebody may find a way. Will you remember not to swallow any substances handed to you by strangers? If you go in sober and enjoy a healthy “runner’s high” just from music and dancing, it will be great! If you go there drunk, who knows? Alcohol aggravates the effects of heat too.

People drive in from Pomona or Corona or Sedona or wherever, early in the morning, to claim the best parking spaces. While waiting, as in this 2017 video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DnCIQO5Al0 , they drink things other than water or juice. Later, while sober people are dancing themselves into healthy trances, the ones who spent the morning drinking alcohol will collapse in yucky little puddles. What a waste of money! They could have passed out drunk at home and been less trouble to others.

If you enjoy rocking and bopping from midday to midnight, Hard Summer’s dates for 2018 are August 4 and 5, at the Fontana Speedway; lineup, ticket sales, and other information are at https://www.hardsummer.com . Drink water (filtered LA tap water is free), and have fun.

Karen Wright7 months ago

It’s ironic that drug pushers infest places like the Hard Summer music festival or any other event that attracts young people by providing music many older people hate. Actually, some of the performers at these things aren’t young. The Speedway is wheelchair-accessible, and they derve organic, gluten-free, vegan, healthy food. The purple shirt mob will be prowling around, urging people to sit down and drink water if they look tired. Music, young people, even “California” get blamed because a few idiots take XTC or cocaine in the blistering sun. 

Caroline Campbell7 months ago

As one of those people from Pomona, I can tell you that while the Pomona Music Festival is smaller than the Hard Summer Music Festival, it’s not been problem-free. I hate to think of parents needing to lay down the law to a nineteen-year-old (even if that nineteen-year-old has had problems). Everyone should be aware, though, that drug peddlers often sneak into music festivals trying to “seduce” younger people into taking illegal drugs. One thing event managers try to do is to screen out things that have been used by drug smugglers. They also recruit a lot of security people, both trained and volunteers, to mill around looking for anybody who seems sick. Usually, people who choose the “exercise high” alone will at least notice when they’re about to crash and sit down before they hit the ground. If people do collapse from heat alone, they usually recover. But drugs kill. 


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