Stretch Shapes supplies custom structures to Insomniac’s HARD Festival


HARD Summer Music Festival first premiered in 2007 and has rapidly gained nation-wide recognition within the American dance community for its upbeat music, energetically charged atmosphere, and bigger than life performances. This two-day event in August attracts approximately 80,000 music lovers each day and takes place at the Auto Club Speedway approximately 50 miles from Los Angeles, California.

In 2018, the HARD Summer Music Festival experienced a new and improved self with the support of America’s best-known electronic music event promoter, Insomniac. Founded in 1993, Insomniac is now the world’s largest dance music and experience company, creating beauty and inspiration in every element of their festivals. With the philosophies from Insomniac in place, improvements were made across the HARD Summer Music Festival, everything from logistical guidance to aesthetic upgrades. Such aesthetics included three massive, custom Shade Structures made by Stretch Shapes.

Prior to the event, Insomniac reached out to Stretch Shapes as the leading innovator of stretch fabric products for event professionals. The idea was to create one shade structure that was colorful, allowed airflow, provided shade, and could be an artistic element within the festival grounds. With that idea in mind, the team at Stretch Shapes worked some magic to create a variety of visual concepts for the Insomniac team to pick from. Upon the review, each concept was loved so much that all three Shade Structures were a “must-have” for the festival.

Insomniac recapped their experience as a “super smooth and professional experience from start to finish. The Stretch Shapes team worked with our vision and gave us great creative input. They then provided several different options based on those discussions, and we ended up very pleased with the final design.”

As soon as Insomniac signed off on the designs, the Stretch Shapes team began working on all elements needed to make the three giant 100-foot shade structures. Six different colors of IFR (inherently flame retardant) fabric were cut with an Autometrix CNC machine using proprietary software for precision. All 600 Flat Panel Sails within the structures were sewn in-house on Juki digital sewing machines, by a meticulous sewing crew. Once all the panels were sewn, the team labeled and packaged all the materials and shipped it directly to the site for installation.

Stretch Shapes’ world-class install crew was there for every step of installation and strike with incredible work ethics and can-do attitudes. In total, the installation took three days, and the strike took two days. As Insomniac recalled: “The Stretch Shapes team was very comprehensive in detailing their on-site needs for the build, and it went without a hitch. The strike was quick and smooth. Overall, we look forward to working with Stretch Shapes again and would definitely recommend them for your festival or event shade structure needs.” 

All said and done, the three behemoth shade structures were a huge hit, so much that Insomniac plans to reuse the artistic Shade Structures in their future festivals. Not only did these three geometrically beautiful shade structures set the tone of the festival, but these also provided the festival attendees a sanctuary away from the scorching UV rays. As thousands of posts flooded social media, featuring the Shade Structures as a backdrop, it’s easy to conclude these artistic structures were functional yet iconic elements of the festival.

Molly Hookings
Author: Molly Hookings

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: