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HARD’s Day of the Dead festival in Pomona is now just a day away, and for us, that means we’re eyeing the daily set lists like hawks and navigating the perfect schedule. As we revisited the extensive roster of this year’s ghoulish soiree, we realized just how much great talent is slotted to play during the early afternoon and evening hours — a testament to HARD’s ability to lock down nearly 100 artists that are all more than qualified enough for the festival stage.

It’s for this reason that we decided to put together the earlybird’s guide to HARD Day of the Dead this year — highlighting seven can’t miss sets from each day of the festival that kick off before 7PM. See what we’re arriving early for below, and if you haven’t already, make sure to snag your tickets here!

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SATURDAY

AWE – 12:05PM – 7UP Green Stage

AWE

AWE is making his festival debut this weekend, and what better way to do it than kicking off the entire festival. This dude has been cranking out some of our favorite bootlegs and remixes all year, so it’s going to be nice to let him commence the Day of the Dead experience tomorrow afternoon.

Anna Lunoe – 2:45PM – Pink Stage

anna lunoe

You know there’s no way we’re missing our girl Anna! Always on top of her selections, Anna is sure to bring the heat with a diverse tracklist of House and Bass-infused tunage.

Stwo – 3:05PM – 7UP Green Stage

stwo

This HW&W rep has also had a big year, sporting his unique brand of Hip Hop & R&B through a number of big remixes, edits, and originals. Look for a vibey mid-afternoon set from this rising Parisian producer.

Salva – 330PM – HARD Stage

salva

Salva has just dropped one of the best albums of the year this week with Peacemaker, so there’s really no better time to see the dude drop a boatload of fresh, new material. Main stage will most definitely be going up early tomorrow.

Huxley – 4:40PM – Pink Stage

huxley

Take a breather for a bit and head to the Pink Stage to catch some beautiful House stylings from UK producer, Huxley. The guy just released his new full length, Blurred, and will be sure to play all the hot ones.

GTA – 5:30PM – HARD Stage

GTA

I’ve never had a bad time at a GTA show, period. Matt and JWLS are true masters of the turn up, and we’ve heard they have some very special surprises in store especially for this performance tomorrow in Pomona.

Moody Good – 6:25PM – Purple Stage

moody good

This is Moody Good’s first appearance ever. With his insanely well-produced debut album released this year on OWSLA, we’re excited to hear big ones like “Hotplate” and “Musicbx” booming loud from the hands of their creator.

SUNDAY

Lxury – 12:50PM – 7UP Green Stage

lxury

You might be a little hurting on Sunday morning, so ease into day 2 with the gentle sounds from UK producer, Lxury. His delicate opening set is sure to get your blood flowing again before the day really gets pumping.

Nina Las Vegas – 1:20PM – Pink Stage

nina las vegas

Nina Las Vegas — Triple J MixUp master, Queen of the smirk emoji, and recent NEST releaser — is here all the way from Australia to play her favorites. If you’ve ever listened to her radio show or been to one of her NLV presents shows, you’ll know that Nina’s energy and eclectic yet fluid taste make her sets some of the most fun at festivals like HARD.

Djemba Djemba – 3:35PM – Pink Stage

djemba djemba

If Djemba’s set on Sunday is anything like this remix of “Core” he did for RL Grime, we might need a 10 minute halftime break. Bring an extra water bottle with you for this.

Pete Tong – 4:25PM – HARDer Stage

pete tong

After you nail a food truck sandwich, make your way over to the HARDer stage for some education from the voice of dance music, Pete Tong. This guy gets all of the best music long before anyone else, and his festival sets usually tend to go a bit larger than his deeper club gigs.

Branchez – 5:35PM – Pink Stage

branchez

Pink Stage is really popping off on Sunday thanks to the hand-selected lineup by RL Grime, and NYC’s Branchez is there for a reason. Hip Hop vibes will be strong, and you’ll probably smell some skunky smoke all around you. Just go with it.

Cajmere – 6:00PM – Purple Stage

cajmere

Cajmere, aka Green Velvet aka Curtis Jones, is a Chicago House legend. His labels, Relief and Cajual, have had a lasting effect on much of the House music produced today, so pay some respects and check out this longstanding innovator.

Rustie – 6:35PM – Pink Stage

rustie

This one seems like a no-brainer for us. Rustie changed the game when he released Glass Swords in 2011 and proceeded to take to Pete Tong’s Essential Mix to announce a new order to the world. His selections and production have affected the works of HudMo, Baauer, Cashmere Cat, and actually nearly every other DJ playing the Pink Stage on Sunday.

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Have fun, be safe, drink water. Happy Halloween and happy Day of the Dead!

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