Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: A FREE gathering in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco featuring dozens of musical acts on 6 stages.
September 30 – October 2, 2022.
This link above is pretty much all you need to know about this music festival that goes back more than a decade, and is free and unusual. The now deceased, banjo-playing billionaire Warren Hellman’s fortune keeps it all going and hires the bands and now extensive security. Thanks Warren! The music is an odd mix of genres but comes down to some country and bluegrass bands, old geezer, baby boomer bands, alternative rock and pop bands and a few local bands. For a young band, your way to get the gig is to be in the industry and a hard working touring band that has paid some dues, traveled many miles in a van and probably slept in a lot of Motel 6’s.
Whether you experience Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at one stage with a group of friends, a blanket, chardonnay and lots of stinky cheese and olives or want to catch a lot of stages, travel light and fly solo or with a like-minded buddy or partner in crime is your choice. I tend to go with the fly solo thing as there are so many bands it seems a shame to be tied down to one spot.
Here is my list of people I hope to hear, but as always things change and I may find myself eating brie with some strangers at a stage listening to someone I never knew that then becomes my new favorite band.
PAUL’S HAPHAZARED PICKS FOR THE HSB 2022 FESTIVAL
AJ LEE AND BLUE SUMMIT
AJ Lee is a local band that most people in the Bay Area do not know, which is strange because they are really good. Santa Cruz bluegrass at its best.
ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL
Country swing from West Texas. Nothing like some Dizzy Gillespie thrown in with your Hank Williams
Some Bayou sounds not to miss.
This looks like a really interesting band far from bluegrass.
DASHAWN HICKMAN W/ CHARLIE HUNTER
FARE THEE WELL: CELEBRATING THE SONGS OF JOHN PRINE, NANCY BECHTLE, JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE & MORE
JESSE COLIN YOUNG
RHIANNON GIDDENS W/ FRANCESCO TURRISI
It is always good to checkout the Bandwagon Stage were the local folk get up on stage. Not as crazy as the other big stages.
Remember to keep hydrated, pack a few extra snacks and maybe a few extra cans of quality beer for when you find yourself next to some other friendly festival goers . See y’all on Monday.