Hard Summer 2023 Preview: Skrillex, Kaskade and More to Headline


Hard Summer is hitting LA on Aug 5/6 and with it a multi-genre blend of generally blistering and intense music. But only just for a weekend. Tickets are sold out but if you manage to parachute in, everything here is what you need to know.

You’re getting a wide array of house, trap, bass, and drumstep. Both nights are headlined as B2Bs so it’s four for the price of two: John Summit and Kaskade on Saturday, Skrillex and Four Tet on Sunday. The Hard and Harder main stages line the perimeter of the map and 3 other venues are placed between them: Purple and Pink stages on the top end, and Green stage closer to the bottom middle. It’s a thoroughly stacked lineup, possibly the best since Portola of last year: Diplo, Isoxo, Bicep, 21 Savage, Black Coffee, Kid Cudi, Yellow Claw, Hamdi, even Ludacris somehow is throwing a set on the Harder stage.

Lots of quality smaller artists too, such as CHYL, Ninajirachi, a friend of the mag Nala, as well as one of the most exciting collabs this year: Chee and Jon Casey. The bass duo is performing under the name IT HZ and I’m expecting their set to be as dangerous as their namesake. Both were featured in 20/20 Global sets and are distinguished artists on their own. It’s worth noting how many duo acts are popping up this year, our Hard Summer headliners aside, Baauer x Party Favor just launched a project as well. Though absent, expect to hear their music spinning over August’s inaugural weekend.

Skrillex and Four Tet branching off from their partner in crime Fred Again is unfortunate, though his time is currently spent hosting music workshops for women producers and making lo-fi house. I’m predicting a varied set compared to the magnum opus that was Coachella, but expect Sonny to keep Quest for Fire tracks on the quick draw. If they’re easily influenced by those around them, it’s going to be a frantic bass set with Jamaican vocals and dense rap over club tracks. Quite a vivid difference from the night prior: Kaskade & Summit is a slice of EDC plated in Los Angeles. I think it’s quite obvious what the two largest festival DJs on the circuit are going to play on August 5th, but here are a few reminders.

If you were at Skyline festival earlier this year, think of Hard Summer as its successor. 2 of the 5 stages are exactly the same (Pink and Harder stages), and other stages expand the boundaries of the festival to basically double its size. The sets even resemble themselves, as Diplo’s strictly house set at Skyline in February will perhaps make a comeback to impress our aforementioned EDC diplomats. It doesn’t matter how you frame it because Hard Summer is looking to be one of the best festivals of the year. The weather has been ideal and the musicians have been cooking.

You can rent lockers here for $25 a day. Info on parking, hotels, and shuttles to Expo Park is also available. Insomniac’s Hard Summer merch line is also available for preview. For anything and everything, check out the official website and socials.

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