Earlier this week, HARD Summer released a short film trailer to promote their annual summer festival. The video also attempted to address the conversations surrounding male-heavy music festival lineups. Last year, HARD Summer faced controversy for their lineup, which only included a handful of female acts.
However, upon its release, the video faced backlash and criticism from festivalgoers, fans and women on the festival's lineup.
"Kudos to Destructo for the effort to highlight the lack of women on festival lineups - but this isn't funny," Annie Mac tweeted. "It's depressing because it is indicative of the state of the industry right now. Still so unbalanced. Still lacking females in the top tiers and it's not a laughing matter. Don't try to make bad comedy out of a serious problem in our industry."
Now, Gary Richards, the founder of HARD Events, has issued an official statement about the backlash.
"Our goal is to promote good music and we are trying to give women more of a platform at our festival," the statement reads. "My intentions here were only to help, not offend anyone, in supporting Agata's vision and message. I understand that she does not speak for all women and how people could be upset by the trailer." Richards also extended "a sincere apology to those who were offended."
Read the entire statement below. This week, we wrote about how HARD Summer's trailer sums up everything wrong with EDM bro culture.
Here at HARD Events we are here for everyone. The HARD SUMMER trailer was created as a satirical piece to raise consciousness at a time when equality issues are of utmost importance. Our goal is to promote good music and we are trying to give women more of a platform at our festival.
My intentions here were only to help, not offend anyone, in supporting Agata's vision and message. I understand that she does not speak for all women and how people could be upset by the trailer. There is always a risk of misinterpretation when satire is used, but we felt it was right to let her express herself and have creative control over the piece. We want to extend a sincere apology to those who were offended.
We hope the conversations started by this piece bring the change we intended and we will continue to be a champion for Women's rights within our community and world at large
UPDATE [5/8/17 at 12:30pm]: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the statement was issued by a representative of HARD, when it was written by festival owner Gary Richards. The text has been updated accordingly.