EDM's Most Prominent Rivals Battle It Out For The Electric Daisy Carnival Name
Considered the two largest and most successful live music event companies in EDM, HARD Events and Insomniac Events have officially entered into a bitter legal battle. Gary Richards, otherwise referred to as electronic music producer Destructo and CEO of HARD, recently took a subtle shot at Pasquale Rotella and his massive rave event Electric Daisy Carnival with the release of the 2015 trailer of HARD Summer.
The event trailer opens with eminent electronic music producers Dillon Francis, Mija and Chromeo practicing as a garage band. Francis quits the band in a dramatic parody monologue during which he argues, "Gary told me that I needed to play a real instrument if I wanted to play at Hard Summer.” The HARD CEO himself then unexpectedly appears in the video chiming in with, “because Hard Summer's not a rave, it's a music festival."
While the whole "Spoon Ü" gag was hilarious, HARD Summer detaching itself from the term "rave" was more than just a blow to festival king Rotella. Not only did Richards take a moment to correctly label HARD Summer as a music festival, but the lineup also speaks on behalf of Richards’ outlook on his current legal battle against Rotella as well. With performances from headliners like The Weeknd and The Chemical Brothers, it is clear that Richards is striving for a more diverse roster than that of EDC.
As of April 20th, 2015, Richards filed a trademark suit against Rotella in relation to the EDC trademark. Allegedly, Rotella received verbal agreement that he could move forward with the festival brand name, although Richards is now pursuing legal action against the EDM mogul. John Ingram, a lawyer with Stone Meyer Genow Smelkinson and Binder in Beverly Hills, stated "The EDC mark is one of the most well-known brands in music. If Insomniac were forced to license the mark, it wouldn't come cheap."
Pasquale Rotella is widely known as a competitive force in the industry, as his acclaimed live music event Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas routinely sells out 400,000 tickets even before the lineup is announced. According to Rotella, it’s all about the experience. However, things may have turned out a little different had he accepted Gary Richards’ offer to go 50/50 in a partnership before the launch of HARD Events. "I'm guessing [Richards] is having a difficult time adjusting to that," Rotella said, "which makes me feel like [the petition] is being done out of spite. It's sad."
While both event companies are owned by Live Nation, the rivalry between the two has proved to be substantial as artists must choose to play one or the other. As veteran promoter Disco Donnie Estopinal explains, "These rivalries have been going on for decades. But the level it's at in EDM right now, we're all wondering how long before it begins to hurt the scene."
Cover photo via Pollstar Pro