An Eclectic Lineup Comes Together For This Year’s Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival

The event kicks off October 4 in San Francisco.

For the past 18 years, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has brought hundreds of thousands of die-hard live music fans from around the world to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park each October. This year, on October 4-6, Hardly Strictly will celebrate its 19th year with performances by celebrated acoustic duo The Milk Carton Kids, the unique collaboration of Calexico and Iron & Wine, Ukraine’s heralded folk-music group Dakhabrakha, Texas troubadour Hayes Carll, Bay Area golden boy Jackie Greene, cowpunk heroes Meat Puppets, powerhouse soul spirit Bettye LaVette, country-music renaissance woman Margo Price, songwriting legend Steve Earle, and British-Irish folk-rockers The Waterboys.

“To me, this lineup reflects our event’s legacy while looking ahead to the future,” says Hardly Strictly’s Chris Porter. “Steve Earle has been celebrating with us since 2002 and artists like Margo Price and Dahkabrahka are making their first Hardly Strictly Bluegrass appearances.” This first round of artists was announced after Hardly Strictly fans were treated to what the festival calls an “artist medley”—a sneak-peak audio clip of soon to be announced artists—on the festival’s social media accounts. The first lineup announce coincides with the 85th birthday of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass founder Warren Hellman who created the festival in 2001 as a gift to the people of San Francisco and the world, celebrating American “roots” music and its many outgrowths.

Several of the announced performers are also participating in Hardly Strictly Out of the Park—a series of evening shows at a number of local venues in which $1.00 per ticket goes to Music in the Schools Today. Jackie Greene, Meat Puppets, Hayes Carll, Calexico and Iron & Wine, and The Waterboys will each perform one of these Out of the Park shows surrounding Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass takes place within Golden Gate Park in Hellman Hollow, Lindley Meadow, and Marx Meadow. All meadows open for entry at 10 am with music starting at noon on Friday and 11 am on Saturday and Sunday. Food and non-alcoholic beverage vendors will be stationed around the park. No alcoholic beverages will be sold during the festival, but patrons are allowed to bring beer and wine as long as it is not in glass containers. Hard alcohol is prohibited. In addition, coolers, blankets and short-back chairs are allowed. Cameras are allowed, but not tripods or other intrusive equipment. Due to limited parking surrounding Golden Gate Park, attendees are highly encouraged to use public transit, ride-share, bike or walk instead of driving. Long-time festival-goers will also be happy to know that for the first time in years, Hardly Strictly will not coincide with San Francisco Fleet Week. Patrons will be able to enjoy the intimacy of acoustic sets without noisy jets overhead.

Visit hardlystrictlybluegrass.com for more information.

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