Hardly Strictly Goes On, Come What May

The insanely popular, free music festival in Golden Gate Park announced today that the ongoing pandemic has shut down live performances in 2021. The show will go virtual for the second year in a row and the lineup looks awesome, but the good vibes remain muted. Hundreds of thousands of revelers missing have a way of doing that. Here’s the official statement announcing this year’s change of plans.

After consultation with our team of COVID safety advisors, and in close communication with City of San Francisco, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has reached the difficult conclusion that we are not able to hold the festival in Golden Gate Park this year; we can’t waver from our mission of providing the safest and most magical musical environment, with all the care and consideration for our festivalgoers and artists, that has been at the heart of Hardly Strictly for over two decades.

It’s not all bad news though. Last year, over 1 million visitors tuned in and this year, the hybrid festival, presenting both livestream sets and pre-recorded performances, promises to be even better. For three days, from October 1st-3rd, 27 sets will be streamed on www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com. So tune in. You won’t be disappointed. Each day the music starts at 1pm.

The lineup includes performances by Andy Shauf, Ani DiFranco w/ The Hardly Strictly Lesbian Band, Bachelor, Belá Fleck “My Bluegrass Heart”, Bob Mould w/ Fred Armisen, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole w/ Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, Della Mae, Emmylou Harris, Galactic f/ Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph w/ Anders Osborne & Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Hawktail, Jackie Greene w/ Tim Bluhm, Lake Street Dive, Las Cafeteras, Mavis Staples, Meklit w/ Ambrose Akinmusire, Peter Rowan w/ Michael Kang, Rainbow Girls w/ John Craigie, Seratones w/ Alynda Segarra, Steve Earle, Terence Blanchard w/ The E-Collective & The Turtle Island String Quartet, The Soul Rebels w/ Ivan Neville, The Tallest Man On Earth.

As good as a virtual festival can be, here’s to the hope that 2022 gets us back to an unrestricted, live, in-person Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival.


  1. Wow,
    Going to take a trip to GGPark in Oct☺☺☺
    Anyone else going?

  2. Terri Orth-Pallavicini September 3, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    I have been attending HSBG for over fifteen years, and while I see the need to implement some changes and rules of attendance, I feel some of these are a bit much. If people already have a small soft-sided cooler bag for their lunch, are we expected to go and buy a new clear plastic one? I’ve never even seen a clear plastic one!! That wouldn’t exactly be a cooler/thermal bag would it? For some people the price of the food is prohibitively expensive and that’s why we choose to bring our own food..I can see you don’t want large coolers, but small over the shoulder thermal bag (the dimensions suggested..) should be allowed. (They won’t be clear plastic! ) One other suggestion.. there should be an entrance that feeds into the center of the “area”..not just at either end, which requires a lot more walking for people with health issues..Couldn’t there be an entrance at 25th and Fulton? which leads you to a road where the distance to the Banjo and Swan stages is about the same,(i.e. not requiring you to walk the full length of the festival ..my friend uses a cane, and that’s the entrance they usually use.) Please consider these suggestions! Thank you..

  3. Clear plastic backpacks for sale

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