HARD looks to expand Holy Ship venture to three sailings in the near future
The mastermind behind the HARD brand, known as Gary Richards by day, Destructo by night, recently sat down with Billboard to dish on just how big this Holy Ship phenomenon has really gotten. From the idea’s humble beginnings to its fourth installment featuring two sailings this year, Richards touches on his booking approach, its impact on his Destructo moniker, and where the floating festival is going in the future. In Holy Ship, Gary Richards has created a special event to compliment the mainland HARD circuit, where fans self-identifying as the “Shipfam” can experience their favorite acts in a whole new kind of way. With both of 2015’s voyages selling out in a matter of minutes this year, the event might be growing even bigger in the near future, possibly expanding to the Mediterranean for a third sailing and other European markets thereafter.
Richards expounds on how the atmospheric nature of a close-quarters cruise changes the festival experience considerably, and also gives artists the free range to switch up their styles a bit. He goes into how the ship is a hallowed reunion ground for devoted attendees, and how it gives the talent a good opportunity to catch up together between packed touring schedules. Most importantly though, everyone wants a piece of the intimate exclusivity, and now it might be time for HARD to expand into new markets to keep up with demand.
From a traveling Go HARD concert series in the works, similar to the Mad Decent Block Party model, that would hit a handful of different cities in the U.S. that aren’t over-saturated with large-scale events, to seriously considering adding a third cruise to the calendar year in the Mediterranean Ocean, to a 15-stop tour between cruises this year, Gary Richards is a hard man to keep up with, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.