According to reports, Live Nation is looking to remove Gary Richards as the founder of HARD events.
HARD was aquired by Live Nation in 2012 after the company held its first successful event in 2007 headlined by acts Justice and Steve Aoki. Since that time HARD has faced various problems such as multiple venue changes and even deaths — 3 people were confirmed dead from last years summer festival and the yearly Day of the Dead festival has not been held since it debuted in 2012.
HARD has shuffled around to four different locations since 2013, bouncing from LA’s historic park to Ponoma Fairplex for Halloween 2015. Along the way, HARD has been losing a significant amount of funds and building negative press, leaving Live Nation to use Richards as a scapegoat.
Speculations have also been brewing in the several #shipfam groups on Facebook. Rumor is that some artists will not play HOLY SHIP ! if Richards is terminated by Live Nation. Lineup for HOLY SHIP is usually released towards the end of June/July, further fueling the rumors that Richard’s relationship with Live Nation is running stale.
“..This is coming up on the renewal of my deal, so we’re at the end,” Richards stated when interviewed in Vanity Fair about the issue. When asked if he would continue his contract with Live Nation, he responded, “I dunno. That’s a good question. We shall see. We shall see.”
Nothing has been confirmed regarding Richards and Live Nation, but a petition has already begun on change.org has already been created to keep him on board. #NoGaryNoShip has also been making the rounds across twitter.
Live Nation has failed to deliver a comment on the matter, and HARD representatives did not reply for comment.