When you hear "family reunion," you might imagine a barbecue in a park attended by dozens of screaming children and an uncle who drinks too much. Some crappy boombox blasts radio tunes, piercing the boredom like a plastic spork through mac 'n' cheese.
But what if we took away the drunken uncle, replaced him with 2,000 superpsyched young adults, and updated the sound system? Now move the shindig from a public park to a badass club like Grand Central, and you've got Hard's annual two-day family reunion.
"It's definitely the Hard family," says founder Gary Richards, AKA Destructo. "It's not for the money. The thing in Miami, to me, it's all vibe," he adds. "It's just a cool vibe for some fun people to get to see a bunch of great acts in a small setting."
Hard Miami 2014's Rump Shaker
Hard Miami 2014's Rump Shaker: With Boys Noize, Zeds Dead, RL Grime, and others. 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. Tickets cost $40 plus fees via flavorus.com. Ages 18 and up. Visit hardfest.com.Hard Miami 2014's Night TwoWith a special guest, Brodinski, Julio Bashmore, Destructo, and others. 10 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. Tickets cost $30 plus fees via flavorus.com. Ages 18 and up. Visit hardfest.com.
This year's Hard party boasts a carefully curated combination of old favorites and soon-to-be classics. On day one, dubbed the "Rump Shaker," expect what Richards describes as "an amped-up bass frenzy," while day two will be "definitely more for the heads."
Each night will represent a different side of the same brand as Destructo and crew try to please each and every member of Hard's ever-expanding fan base. In fact, after about five years, Richards claims one of the hardest parts of throwing his parties is just squeezing everyone in.
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"It just keeps morphing into something bigger than what it started out to be," he says. "I guess most people who do shows and festivals, it's more about 'How much can we make?' But with Hard, I treat it more like an artist.
"If I was going to make an album, how can I make an album that pushes the boundaries, is still unique and musical, but also can be commercially viable but still be cool? It's a hard thing to do, straddle that line."
Hard's future looks brighter than ever, so straddle the line Destructo must. And of course, he also intends to keep it all in the family — and that goes for Thursday's secret Hard Miami special guest too.
"Let's just put it like this," he teases, "we'll have to find out where your head's at in a few days."