This is Hardcore Fest Organizer Says Event Will Happen in August Despite Pandemic


Despite the ongoing… well, you know… the organizer behind This is Hardcore, the long-running Philadelphia hardcore festival, is saying that the event will take place this summer as usual. The fest’s official Instagram account recently added dates to its profile, indicating the festival will take place between August 7 and 9. No venue or bands been specified.

Recent This is Hardcore lineups have included a number of big names such as Saves the Day, Gorilla Biscuits, Code Orange, Cro-Mags, Terror, Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, Knocked Loose, Madball, H20 and countless other bands. It seems unlikely the fest will be able to attract that level of talent this year given the short notice, the difficulties involved with bands playing one-off shows (as opposed to routed tour dates), and the… well, you know… but given the number of larger hardcore bands located in the Northeast it’s not out of the question.

Regarding the… well, you know… there are some troubling developments that indicate the festival’s organizers are very much not taking the pandemic seriously.

The festival’s main booker, Joe “Hardcore” McKay, played a set with his band, Shattered Realm, in late June in Pittsburgh at a show dubbed “The First Hardcore Show in the World.” Video of that show, which you can watch at the bottom of this post, shows the band performing in a cramped indoor space to an audience with hardly anyone wearing masks (I counted one person). At the 4:45 mark, McKay addresses the audience for over two minutes, encouraging them to mosh. Facewreck also performed at the show.

The fest offered the following on Instagram earlier this week:

“Any updates regarding the fest will be posted on the IG and Facebook pages.

“It’s clearly a wild time with many fast changes. Wear a god damn mask so we can all hangout [sic] with friends and hear live music again.”

While we certainly agree with the missive to wear a mask, This is Hardcore has traditionally been hosted indoors, and we know the dangers of spreading the… well, you know… multiply dramatically inside, even with masks. Not to mention all the other questions: will capacity be limited? will moshing be disallowed? Is this even legal? Etc. Even if the fest ends up being outside, there are myriad problems with that as well as our friends in Wisconsin have learned.

While some commenters on the Instagram post expressed enthusiasm and a willingness to follow safety precautions, most lambasted the festival for attempting to host a concert during a pandemic. One commenter offered:

“you realize a hardcore fest like TIHC is a covid wet dream, right? Indoor? ✔️ Close contact? ✔️ Extended exposure time? ✔️ Loud talking people singing? ✔️ The death rate is low because the vast majority of people haven’t gotten it. Case fatality, i.e. how many people who have tested positive that died, is above 5%. That means that if 20 people catch covid there, which at the three day hc fest is all but guaranteed, statistically someone is probably going to die directly because of TIHC. But go on showing everyone what a bad ass anti authoritarian you are”

We’ll keep you updated on any developments regarding This is Hardcore.

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