Sources close to HARD events have let slip that Gary Richards, who produces and DJs under the name Destructo, is reportedly being pushed from the brand he created. Gary helped start HARD which started events like HARD Summer (which is currently taking place) as well as Holy Ship. An ongoing feud between Richards and LiveNation and LiveStyle were cited as reasons why he would be barred from participating in or playing the next iteration of Holy Ship. News came as a blow to loyal fans of the event.
Gary Richards Ousted From HARD?
Where the feud stems from takes us down a rabbit whole of some of the largest event production companies and their various feuds. Live Nation may hold issue with AEG Presents who is known to have helped Holy Ship get off the ground. This ongoing bickering has led to Richards caught in the middle of a contract dispute. Destructo has said in the past (in an interview with Variety) that things were getting complicated as a 5 year contract with Live Nation ran out this year. Since Richards' contract is now up, it seems that the feud between him and Live Nation has resulted in the event company wanting to remove him entirely from the brand he helped create. To be blunt, they have every legal right to do this.
It appears that things are reaching a fever pitch as multiple sources are reporting that it is likely Gary will be forced out of a company he built himself many years ago. The Holy Ship fan base who goes by ‘Shipfam' is known for their borderline over-the-top loyalty to the floating festival. As many would have guessed they have lost their minds with news of Gary being pushed out. Many claim they will not attend Holy Ship or HARD Events if Destructo is not allowed to be part of. Artists and fans alike have started a change.org peition which has quickly amassed almost one thousand signatures.
— Boys Noize (@boysnoize) August 2, 2017
Will this be enough to get Live Nation's attention? Or will be the boycott from past Shipfam members only open up availability for an event that thousands jostle to attend every year? Only time will tell. We have reached out for comment to Gary Richard's team and update this story with any potential developments.