Earlier this week, when the M.I.A.-headlined Hard L.A. concert was abruptly canceled , promoters originally cited “increased security costs,” then added that those costs had nothing to do with the death of a 15-year-old girl at a Los Angeles rave a few weeks earlier. Late Thursday, we learned that it was a combination of those extra costs and sluggish ticket sales that ultimately led to the concert’s demise — or, more specifically, its grouping with another Hard event.
“We needed to double up on police and fire resources, driving the cost of the show higher,” Gary Richards, Hard L.A.’s promoter, wrote in a statement to MTV News. “Sales were not what we expected, so we put both events together to make one large event on August 7th [called] Hard Summer.”
Richards added that he’s since added Flying Lotus, Switch, Theophilus London and the Gaslamp Killer to the August 7 bill and that the slow ticket sales for Hard L.A. appeared to be an anomaly, as a Hard Events-promoted concert scheduled for Saturday at the El Ray Theater — featuring Die Antwoord, Borgore and Destructo — “is sold out.”
He also said that Hard plans to bring most of the artists originally slated for Hard L.A. (M.I.A., Sleigh Bells and Rye Rye) back to Los Angeles for another show this fall.
Last week, the Los Angeles Times‘ Pop & Hiss blog reported that ticket sales for Hard L.A. were “slow.” The concert was scheduled to take place in the 36-acre Los Angeles State Park, which could hold some 25,000 people. When asked by the Times about the slower-than-expected ticket sales, Richards originally replied, “I’d rather not comment on that.”
In his statement to MTV News, Richards did not address the date of Hard NYC, which is scheduled for July 24 on New York’s Governors Island. In a follow-up e-mail, a publicist for the concert said Hard NYC is going ahead as planned.
A spokesperson for M.I.A.’s label, Interscope Records, did not respond to MTV News’ request for comment on the matter.