To me, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival has always been special. Part of is the spirit of the fest, with the founder and organizer Warren Hellman putting it together every year for the love of the music and offering it for free. The other part is the music. I’ve always had a thing for bluegrass and the incredible musicianship you find in performers like Earl Scruggs, Steve Earle, Ricky Skaggs and Del McCoury. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
They’ve been on the bill in past HB fests, and are performing again this year. The fest of course has expanded beyond it’s bluegrass origins, and a number of acts will be there, like Bob Mould, Bright Eyes and Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth). This year I’m especially excited to see Kris Kristofferson & Merle Haggard performing together. These elder statesmen of country western aren’t getting any younger, so now might be a good time to catch their show.
Another part of the festival I like is the crowd. All types and stripes will be coming together this weekend (Sept. 30 – Oct. 2) in Golden Gate Park, and it really is kind of a love-in for the music. So hop on Bart or the Muni, and take in a few sets in a beautiful park setting. You may just make a few friends along the way.