Gary Richards, the founder of HARD Events and Holy Ship! and former Live Nation executive, has been named North American president of LiveStyle.
Richards – known by his stage name Destructo – launched HARD in 2007 and built it into a festival brand hosting 150,000 EDM and electro house music fans.
Live Nation bought the concert brand in 2012, but last month made the decision not to renew Richards’ contract after it expired.
After switching to Los Angeles-based live events organiser LiveStyle, formerly SFX Entertainment, Richards will be responsible for working with all of the company’s current US festival operations, developing and launching new brands and operations on the West Coast.
LiveStyle is the owner of ticketing company Paylogic, digital music store Beatport and several huge dance festivals, including Electric Zoo, Mysteryland and Life in Color.
Richards told the Variety entertainment news website that the chance of working with LiveStyle chief executive Randy Phillips was a major lure.
Richards said: “Randy Phillips has been a trailblazer in the music and entertainment industry for as long as I can remember. Having known Randy personally for many years, I’m excited that the stars have aligned and I’m able to build a new platform for live music with him.
“I look forward to coming on board as president of LiveStyle and have a much larger role to play in the music community. Their portfolio of brands such as React, Made Event/Electric Zoo, DDP and Beatport to name a few is an incredible place to start from and build. In addition, I plan to create new festival concepts and cruises at LiveStyle.”
LiveStyle emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last December, some nine months after it was engulfed by debts of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Phillips said: “To complete our executive suite, we wanted to bring some real authenticity to the management of LiveStyle, and no single candidate to be the president of North America fulfils this role better than Gary Richards, of Hard and Holy Ship fame.
“In fact, this is a delayed goal for me since I tried to make a deal with Gary 10 years ago while I was running AEG Live. Not only is he an accomplished working DJ (DJ Destructo), he is a very astute businessman with an affinity to his fellow artists.”