Whispers about Gary Richards being forced out of HARD's festival cruise Holy Ship! quickly became confirmation of an exciting new announcement.
Richards, CEO of HARD which includes HARD Summer and Holy Ship! on its events roster, reached the end of his five-year contract with Live Nation after first selling the brand in 2012 and has not renewed. Instead, he has announced his decision to leave HARD with Live Nation and move to competing company LiveStyle, which is essentially a new name for SFX post-bankruptcy. LiveStyle is headed by former chief executive of the concert company AEG Live Randy Phillips and owns events like Tomorrowland and Electric Zoo.
He has confirmed that he will not be participating in or attending the next Holy Ship!, which is scheduled to depart in early 2018.
Announcements have yet to be made as to who will take over the day-to-day duties of HARD. LA Weekly speculates that while it's entirely possible that a brand new chief could be announced, the 50.1 per cent Live Nation owned Insomniac, led by Pasquale Rotella could also be a contender.