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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 2016

Tips to Attend this Free SF Event in Golden Gate Park

Head out to Golden Gate Park for the 16th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. This free festival is September 30, October 1 & 2. All festivities are held in Hellman Hollow (formerly Speedway Meadows), Lindley and Marx Meadows.

The organizers are still working on event details, so all other information will be confirmed once it's available including performers and other festival details.

Top performers this year include Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, and Emmylou Harris. Other musical acts include BoZ Scaggs and Steve Earl & The Dukes.

In addition to live music, there are more than 50 gourmet food and beverage vendors. You are also welcome to bring your own picnics.

Alcohol is not sold at this festival, although you are allowed to bring your own in as long as you follow the park rules.

2015 Full List of Performers

Here is the full list of performers for 2015.

Friday, October 2

  • Big Star's Third -- an all-star performance of Big Star's haunting 'Third' album, featuring Kronos Quartet, Van Dyke Parks, Jody Stephens, Mike Mills, Chris Stamey, Ken Stringfellow, Pat Sansone, Ralph Carney, Audley Freed, Brett Harris, Skylar Gudasz, plus an orchestral ensemble; and special guest singers Steve Earle, Robyn Hitchcock & Chatham County Line
  • Cirkus Quirkus with Poor Man's Whiskey
  • Conor Oberst
  • Dry Branch Fire Squad
  • Dustin Kensrue
  • Jessica Pratt
  • Johnathan Rice
  • Laura Marling
  • Lee Ann Womack
  • M. Ward
  • Marty Willson-Piper's Acres Of Space
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Monophonics
  • Peter Rowan Band
  • Punch Brothers
  • Rooster Stage
  • Saintseneca
  • Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
  • T Bone Burnett
  • The Felice Brothers
  • The Mavericks
  • The Oh Hellos

Saturday, October 3

  • Boz Scaggs
  • Buddy Miller's Cavalcade Of Stars Featuring: Jim Lauderdale, Donnie Fritts & John Paul White, Tony Joe White, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Scott Miller & The Commonwealth's Ladies Auxiliary, Buddy Miller & Friends
  • Chatham County Line
  • Cooder - White - Skaggs
  • Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones
  • Doobie Decibel System
  • Flogging Molly
  • Gillian Welch
  • Hot Tuna Electric
  • Joe Jackson
  • Joe Pug
  • Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
  • Leftover Salmon Featuring Bill Payne of Little Feat
  • Lera Lynn
  • Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear
  • Marco & The Polos
  • Megan Slankard
  • Nels Cline & Julian Lage
  • Paul Weller
  • Pokey LaFarge
  • Robert Earl Keen Performing Songs From 'Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions'
  • Robyn Hitchcock
  • Steve Earle & The Dukes
  • The Bros. Landreth
  • The Brothers Comatose
  • The Brothers Gibb
  • The Flatlanders Featuring Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock
  • The Go To Hell Man Clan
  • The Milk Carton Kids
  • The New Mastersounds
  • The Sadies
  • The Sheepdogs
  • The White Buffalo
  • Tim Barry
  • Waco Brothers
  • Walter Salas-Humara

Sunday, October 4

  • Alison Brown & The Song Of The Banjo
  • ALO
  • Anderson East
  • Angel Olsen
  • Asleep At The Wheel
  • Ben Miller Band
  • Beth Hart
  • Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
  • Chicano Batman
  • Delbert McClinton
  • DeVotchKa
  • Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
  • Fairfield Four
  • Fantastic Negrito
  • Gregory Alan Isakov
  • Heidi Clare & The Goose Tatums
  • Hot Rize
  • Indigo Girls
  • James McMurtry
  • Jamey Johnson
  • JB Nimble
  • Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band
  • Justin Townes Earle
  • Kevin Devine
  • Kieran Kane & Lucas Kane, Kevin Welch & Fats
  • Kaplin
  • Los Lobos
  • Mandolin Orange
  • mini-Mekons Featuring Jon Langford, Sally Timms &
  • Rico Bell
  • Nancy and The Lambchops
  • Neko Case
  • Nick Lowe
  • Poi Dog Pondering
  • Robyn Hitchcock & The Sadies Playing 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo' & Other Delights
  • Sonny & The Sunsets
  • Spirit Family Reunion
  • Steep Canyon Rangers
  • The Blind Boys Of Alabama
  • The Dustbowl Revival
  • The Stone Foxes
  • The Time Jumpers Featuring Kenny Sears, Vince Gill, Paul Franklin, Joe Spivey, Larry Franklin, Andy Reiss, Billy Thomas, Jeff Taylor & Brad Albin

NOTE: Some of the performers this year will be streamed live.

What Should You Wear?

You want to prepare for both sun and fog. This part of San Francisco is near the ocean and the weather is unpredictable. I recommend dressing in layers so you can add and remove clothing as the day progresses.

Other Tips to Attend the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Transportation Tips

By Bike: Biking to Golden Gate Park is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get here. The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival has both self and valet parking similar to last year. Here is a map with the locations for both types. #3 is valet parking and the other three all self-parking.

bike parking map

By Public Transit: MUNI will run additional buses between 10 AM and 8 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The cost per person per trip is $2.

  • 5L Bus: Your best bet is to pick up the special 5L bus at the corner of Grove and Larkin streets (near the Civic Center BART/MUNI station). This is a limited stop bus and is the fastest route from downtown San Francisco. Take this bus all the way to the 30th and Fulton Street stop.

  • N Judah: Additional N Judah light rail trains will also run during the Festival. Take it to the stop at 25th and Judah and make your way across Golden Gate Park to the festival. This one is usually crowded, but an easy way to get there from Union Square and downtown San Francisco.

By Car: Parking is extremely limited in the neighborhoods near the Festival. I highly recommend that you take public transportation, a bike or walk instead of driving. If you do plan on arriving by car, make sure you allow additional time to find a parking spot. You will also want to be cautious not to block driveways, as your car may be towed.

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