When Gary Richards (aka DJ & producer Destructo) split ways with HARD Events near the end of 2017, his fans didn’t really know what to expect. Through events like Holy Ship! and HARD Summer, Gary had gained huge respect as a promoter, amassed a diehard following of fans, and was widely seen as one of the best curators of electronic music in the United States. Now it seems as though he may be launching a new festival of his own that could potentially be a new cruise festival.
Those that have any idea of Gary’s work ethic knew that he wouldn’t be gone for long. It was only a month later that he was announced as the President of LiveStyle North America (previously known as SFX Entertainment). LiveStyle North America puts on many well-known festivals like Electric Zoo, Something Wicked, Life In Color, as well as a recent partnership with Spring Awakening and more. One of the responsibilities of Gary’s new role is to work with these festivals and launch new brands and events on the West Coast.
Starting on the first day of 2018, Gary has been dropping cryptic messages of a new entity, AMF (All My Friends). This could very well be one of the new brands he was tasked to create by his new event team. He recently dropped a link via his Destructo social media to amfamfamf.com, a site with very little information. It does, however, allow us to speculate what he could be planning.
The site had only a few features: a logo, some text that includes “All My Friends Music Festival, and link to sign up for email updates. It’s clear that Gary Richards is set to announce some significant event, and that rationale made even more sense after Holy Ship! 10.0 and 11.0 set sail this past week.
A big part of Gary Richard’s following comes from Shipfam, the very close-knit crew of party people who are lucky enough to attend Holy Ship!. While I was onboard Holy Ship 10.0, a handful of Shippers were handing out stickers with the AMF logo which also had “FriendShip” stylized in the center. When asked what exactly the stickers were, the folks handing them out responded: “It’s Gary’s new ship.” One even mentioned that they were given to them by Gary with instructions to pass them out. This, of course, does not confirm anything, but it feels a little strange for fans to go through such efforts to spread a false rumor.
With Holy Ship! being one of Gary’s most beloved creations, it would make sense why he would want to recreate a whole new festival cruise under this fresh AMF brand. There were many Shipfam members who, once hearing Gary was no longer going to be included on the Holy Ship! Sailings, petitioned LiveNation with a #NoGaryNoShip hashtag. This alone is proof that he would have no trouble getting people onboard with his new project. Many of the artists who have played Ship in the past, including Skrillex, had pointed out that if it wasn’t for Gary in the first place, none of them would have even considered playing Holy Ship!.
Could Gary Richard’s be planning to compete with his own, matured and successful brainchild? It would be a bold move for sure, but if it anybody can do it, it’s him.