In 2016, HARD Summer Festival received harsh criticism for a lack of female talent representing the annual event’s artist lineup. In response to the backlash, HARD released a promo video for the 2017 festival in attempt to address the overwhelming gender inequality in the electronic music industry. The video was met with anger and frustration, as many prominent industry folks viewed it as insensitive and misguided. Disc Jokey pioneer Annie Mac responded to the video:
“Kudos to Destructo for the effort to highlight the lack of women on festival lineups – but this isn’t funny, it’s depressing because it is indicative of the state of the industry right now. Still so unbalanced. Still lacking females in the top tiers and it’s not a laughing matter. Don’t try to make bad comedy out of a serious problem in our industry.”
Trying to combat the added negative press, a representative of HARD founder, Gary Richards (aka Destructo) have released the following statement:
“Here at HARD Events we are here for everyone. The HARD SUMMER trailer was created as a satirical piece to raise consciousness at a time when equality issues are of utmost importance. Our goal is to promote good music and we are trying to give women more of a platform at our festival.
My intentions here were only to help, not offend anyone, in supporting Agata’s vision and message. I understand that she does not speak for all women and how people could be upset by the trailer. There is always a risk of misinterpretation when satire is used, but we felt it was right to let her express herself and have creative control over the piece. We want to extend a sincere apology to those who were offended.
We hope the conversations started by this piece bring the change we intended and we will continue to be a champion for Women’s rights within our community and world at large”