HARD Summer Virtual Rave-A-Thon throws world’s largest virtual beach party

Festivals bring fans together during quarantine


Mila Le, Times Staff

Andrew Bonnit watches Valentino Khan’s DJ set at Insomniac’s Hard Summer Virtual Rave-A-Thon on April 5.

HARD Summer, a music festival hosted every year by Insomniac, an electronic music event promoter, was held online April 3 and April 4 on YouTube Live.

The live stream included renowned electronic artists such as Jauz, Audien, SVDDEN DEATH and more. Filmed in the Insomniac headquarters in Los Angeles, artists took turns performing live sets on Youtube Live for fans around the world.

Pasquale Rotella, the CEO and founder of Insomniac, MC’d the festival as well as the last three live streamed events he has put on every weekend.

Rotella named the online festival HARD Summer Staycation Virtual Rave-A-Thon after the actual festival that is usually thrown every August in Southern California.

The event was promoted on Instagram while encouraging fans to get into their summer gear for the “world’s largest virtual beach party,” according to Insomniac’s Instagram post.

Following the cancellation and postponement of many events like Coachella, Ultra and Insomniac’s own Electric Daisy Carnival and Beyond Wonderland, music fans were left with no upcoming events to look forward to.

The energy that came from everyone who tuned in from around the world was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed.”

— Pasquale Rotella

“We feel here at Insomniac there is a big duty for us to entertain while everyone is in the comfort of their homes,” said Rotella during the Beyond Wonderland livestream on March 21.

Beyond Wonderland was scheduled to take place March 20 and March 21 but was cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns. Last year’s two-day event drew over 110,000 fans, according to EDMTunes, a music news site.

Rotella decided after cancelling the event he should put on a livestream with Beyond Wonderland as the title of the virtual show in dedication to all the fans that had to cancel their festival plans this year.

“The energy that came from everyone who tuned in from around the world was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed in the 25 years of me starting Insomniac,” Rotella said in a press release given to Your EDM, an electronic music news site.

According to Your EDM, the Beyond Wonderland Rave-A-Thon live stream had 3.5 million viewers tuning in from home.