Heading to Hardly Strictly? Here are our picks for a great weekend

We've waxed rhapsodic about the exceptional nature of this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass lineup since they first started releasing names in July. Which is great, but begs the question...how the hell are you supposed to see everything worth seeing? Unfortunately, I can't make that decision for you. While major headliners like Robert Plant, Kurt Vile, and Emmylou Harris are obvious must-dos, I can give you some of my suggestions for more under-the-radar acts. Trust me. I'm professional music-listen-to-er, after all. Friday (Mavis Staples at HSB 2016. photo: Ria Burman) 12:15pm: Poor Man's Whiskey. The early hours of day one of [...]

By |September 30, 2019|Tags: |

Get ready for tight security at Hardly Strictly (also, the final lineup)

You probably already heard, but in addition to announcing the full and complete lineup, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass announced tighter security measures for 2019's festival, in response to recent gun violence in public spaces. For the first time, fencing will surround the grounds of the festival, and there will be four specific entry points. There will also be "increased SFPD and Tactical Unit presence inside and outside the venue" (which we have to assume means we'll see SFPD openly carrying rifles as they did at this year's Outside Lands). They're also enacting the clear-bag rule we've seen at local festivals like [...]

The hits just keep on coming for Hardly Strictly 2019

Can you believe?! Hardly Strictly Bluegrass recently released a fourth lineup drop for this year's festival and honestly, the number and variety of stars they have pulled in for this year is kind of mind-boggling. Among the additions announced on Friday: Hiss Golden Messenger, Bedouine, Tank and the Bangas, and more. The recently-announced additions join a truly formidable list of rising and established stars from across multiple genres, from outlaw country superstar Margo Price to mariachi modernizers Flor de Toloache. You can check out previous reporting on past lineup drops here and here. As usual, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass will go [...]

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass reveal two more lists of confirmed artists

The 19th Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival has recently released not one but two additional waves of artist announcements. In addition to celebrating our country’s rich musical heritage, the 19th year of the festival coincides with the 100th anniversary of our constitution’s 19th Amendment. The amendment, which both guarantees and protects women’s right to vote, is being commemorated as one of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass’s 2019 logos, as seen above. The banjo-wielding suffragette is the featured photo of this article and across the festival's social accounts. Keeping with their traditional “artist medley” teases on the front page of the website, fans [...]

ICYMI: Hardly Strictly announces first lineup wave with Margo Price, the Milk Carton Kids

Ask your local Bay Area music fan when the unofficial start of fall in San Francisco begins, and don't be surprised when they say Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival. After 18 years of growth, the 19th official HSB is slated to return to Golden Gate Park on Friday, October 4 and runs through Sunday, October 6. Officially one year beyond "adulthood," the organizers of HSB have been feeling retrospective, and it shows in the lineup. ICYMI, the first wave of the festival's lineup was officially released on Thursday, July 25. The release was timed for the 85th birthday of HSB [...]

Review + Photos: Day 3 of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2018

Emmylou Harris (photo: Ria Burman) The last day of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass brought sunshine and good vibes as the Dead South kicked off the Porch stage with whiskey and rock before noon, while Vetiver opened the Rooster stage. Jon Langford and the Sturdy Nelsons brought a ton of fun opening the Towers of Gold stage, while Bo & Lebo & Friends enjoyed a collaborative session-set opening the Swan stage. One of the best performances of the day came from Aki Kumar and his excellent spin of "Bollywood Blues," while Darlingside got harmonious on the Rooster stage. Peter Rowan brought his [...]

Review + Photos: Day 2 of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2018

Hurray For The Riff Raff (photo: Ria Burman) Day two of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass brought more sun, more stages. and more music. The Hip Spanic Allstars opened the Porch Stage, while Four Year Bender opened the Banjo Stage. The Go To Hell Man Band had lots of musicians and singers passing by the stage singing solid as Glorietta brought the rock and roll before noon. Hurray For The Riff Raff put on a stellar show singing "Living In The City," which can be found on their latest excellent album, The Navigator. Offering words of strength for all the believers and [...]

Review + Photos: Day 1 of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2018

Sera Cahoone (photo: Ria Burman) Hardly Strictly Bluegrass descended upon Golden Gate Park once again, filling the park with sweet sounds of bluegrass and more, which floated across a handful of stages. David Bromberg Quintet opened the Banjo stage and got the party started, while David Luning opened the Rooster stage and Ana Tijoux dazzled the Swan with her punchy, stand-up vibes. The Dry Branch Fire Squad brought their positive vibes to the Banjo stage, while Langhorne Slim and The Lost At Last Band gave one almighty performance, euphoric and tender, on the Rooster stage. Heading over the barrier, Langhorne [...]

What’s Happening This Weekend? A Guide To Shows Around The Bay, Oct 5 – 7

Friday, October 5 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass @ Golden Gate Park Today through Sunday, catch acts like Emmylou Harris, Hurray for the Riff Raff (the "Bluegrass" part), Deer Tick, Ani DiFranco (the "Hardly Strictly" part), and more in Golden Gate Park. Younger Lovers @ Thee Parkside If folk's not your thing, take refuge in Thee Parkside for Bay Area punk staple Younger Lovers. Saturday, October 6 Conor Oberst @ The Fillmore All hope is not lost for Oberst fans, you'll just have to pay to see him. Waxahatchee @ The Chapel Critics and fans alike adore Waxahachee. Alkaline Trio, together PANGEA, [...]

Photos + Review: Day 3 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2017

Cheap Trick (photo: Ria Burman) The last day of Hardly Strictly saw doubled crowds and excellent artists. Jello Biafra opened La Victrola Stage with a 30-minute speech on the horrors of US gun laws and shocking new ones requested, such as legalizing silencers. Drawing alternative options from other countries who's successfully squashed gun crimes, suicides and murders, Jello Biafra stated statistics and facts plain and clear that there is a far safer way, if only powerful people would see hearts beating, broken and stopped instead of flashing dollar signs. A change has got to come. Lila Blue opened the Bandwagon [...]

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