This weekend is the FREE festival in San Francisco. The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is held at Golden Gate Park. This post provides the schedule and some survival tips. If time allows, we add some recommendations in later posts. Admittedly, there are plenty of scheduled performers about whom we are relatively clueless.
Friday, October 3
10:30am Poor Man's Whiskey
11:30am The Aquabats!
1:30pm Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
2:45pm Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones
4:30pm Lucinda Williams
12:00pm Peter Rowan's Twang An' Groove
1:15pm The Waybacks
2:40pm John Prine
4:15pm Dry Branch Fire Squad
5:45pm Ryan Adams
12:00pm Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun
1:15pm Buckwheat Zydeco
2:35pm Hurray For The Riff Raff
4:00pm Cibo Matto with Nels Cline
5:45pm Yo La Tengo
1:00pm The Good Life
2:10pm Jonathan Wilson
3:20pm Sharon Van Etten
5:45pm Conor Oberst
Saturday, October 4:
12:30pm Bad Luck Jonathan
2:10pm Justin Townes Earle
3:55pm Mavis Staples
5:45pm Chris Isaak
11:00am McCrary Sisters
12:10pm Alison Brown Quintet
1:25pm The Time Jumpers Featuring Vince Gill, Kenny Sears, Dawn Sears and Ranger Doug Green
2:45pm Holler Down The Hollow: A Hardly Strictly Salute To the Masters (Dickens, Hellman, Reed, Scruggs, Seeger, Watson & Winchester)
4:25pm Dave Rawlings Machine
5:45pm Steve Earle & The Dukes
11:00am Carlene Carter
12:15pm Buddy Miller's Cavalcade of Stars: Kate York, Striking Matches, Nikki Lane, Shawn Colvin, Tony Joe White, Buddy Miller & Friends with Doug Seegers, Sam Palladio & McCrary Sisters
5:30pm Robert Earl Keen
12:05pm Blue Rodeo
2:30pm St. Paul & The Broken Bones
3:50pm Jon Batiste and Stay Human
4:55pm Reckless Kelly
6:15pm The Flatlanders Featuring Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock
11:40am Red Baraat
1:20pm Deltron 3030 with The 3030 Orchestra
3:05pm Built To Spill
4:45pm Social Distortion
11:00am The Mastersons
12:10pm Rose's Pawn Shop
1:25pm The Felice Brothers
2:40pm Parker Millsap
3:50pm Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
4:50pm Chris Smither
6:05pm Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
11:40am Horseshoe Hill
11:40am Horseshoe Hill
2:00pm Willie Watson
3:20pm Heidi Clare
Sunday, October 5:
11:45am Robbie Fulks
1:15pm The Lone Bellow
2:50pm Rosanne Cash
4:30pm Lake Street Dive
6:10pm Bruce Cockburn
11:00am Malawi Mouse Boys
12:05pm Hot Rize Featuring Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers
1:25pm Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester
2:45pm Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
5:45pm Emmylou Harris
11:00am The Go To Hell Man Clan
12:10pm Kevin Welch & Kieran Kane & Fats Kaplin
1:25pm Sun Kil Moon
2:45pm Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express
4:00pm T Bone Burnett
5:30pm Jason Isbell
11:00am The Sam Chase
12:10pm Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
2:45pm Blackie & The Rodeo Kings
4:10pm Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real
5:45pm Joe Russo's Almost Dead
11:00am The Apache Relay
12:30pm Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
2:00pm Bonnie "Prince" Billy & The Cairo Gang Featuring Dawn McCarthy
3:40pm Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
5:20pm Dwight Yoakam
11:00am Jesse DeNatale
12:10pm Chuck Cannon
1:25pm The High Bar Gang
2:40pm Shelly Colvin
3:55pm Caitlin Rose
5:10pm Sarah Jarosz
6:20pm Rising Appalachia
11:40am Jimmie Dale Gilmore
2:15pm JB Nimble
5:10pm The Brothers Gibb
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Tips:
1. There are two position strategies, which can be labeled “This green grass is mine approach" and “Grass is always greener approach.” The better strategy for you depends on a combination of your personality and the level of your desire to see a particular band(s).
A. If there is a must-see band in your opinion, then take the first approach - spread a blanket as close as you can to the stage on which the band will perform and then use the blanket as your homestead.
B. For people like us, who are always wondering what they’re missing, the second approach is better – sample a band for a short time before moving to the next stage, but know that you’re going to be further away with each passing hour.
2. Beer and wine vendors are not allowed to setup an establishment, but you can bring alcohol with you. And it is not difficult to find someone selling a beer for a cheaper-than-expected price.
3. You can bring food. Backpack searches don’t occur, since there isn’t an entrance area.
4. Remember, if you’re tempted to buy something that is illegal, the seller will soon disappear into the masses. Buyer Beware!
5. At the Outside Lands Festival, there are 65,000 people per day, and it is a mess. That is basically the same venue as the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, which draws nearly three times as many people per day. Be prepared for chaos.
6. There are two stages that are back-to-back. Because the Star Stage and the Towers of Gold Stage are so close, the performances are timed so that one is being used while the other is being prepared. If you are planted in front of one stage (This green grass is mine approach), you won’t see the bands on the other stage, but you’ll hear them. The result is almost continuous music.
7. In past years, the only stage that didn’t become massively overly congested was the Porch Stage. It is small and isn’t assigned the big-named bands, but it is a great opportunity, especially as the day goes on.
8. As you are traveling from one stage to another, look for short lines at the rest room areas, even if you don’t currently feel a need.
9. If you start feeling agitated by the congestion, leave. It is only going to get worse. Leave with a positive attitude.
10. It gets cold in Golden Gate Park. Be prepared – layer up.