You can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl. Let's face it - I'm a Southerner at heart. So when I moved to San Francisco and learned that there is an annual Bluegrass festival in the middle of Golden Gate Park, I was pleased as punch. And did I say it was free? I don't think I did. It's FREE!
Each year, I anticipate the release of the lineup to see which musical acts are going to transport me back to the South. Needless to say, the 2016 lineup has me like...
One of my favorite things about HSB is the cast of festival veterans that returns to the stage every year. These artists are so passionate about carrying on the tradition of bluegrass, country and western music. Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers, Emmylou Harris, and Conor Oberst are always a sure bet.
It's that same passion that founder Warren Hellman had for bluegrass music. Venture capitalist by day and banjo picker by night, Hellman founded HSB in 2001 as a "selfish gift" to himself. Originally a gathering dedicated strictly to bluegrass music, the festival has evolved over the years and now encompass other genres.
Explore the 2016 lineup and get ready for a weekend in the park. Below are a few of my top picks that I am most excited about this year. Download Spotify and listen to my favorite artists that will be hitting the stage.
So I've learned a few lessons over the years of attending Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. The biggest challenge of the weekend (other than choosing which bands you want to see) is getting to Golden Gate Park.
Parking is impossible, so don't even think about driving. HSB likes to encourage public transportation, and SFMTA will provide extra MUNI service throughout the whole weekend. However from personal experience, I recommend just sucking it up and taking an Uber or a taxi. The main MUNI routes to Golden Gate Park will be so congested that you might end up watching full bus after full bus drive by (this has happened to me)! If you are going to take an Uber, have your driver drop you off at Balboa & 30th Avenue. This is the official drop-off location as the roads within the park will be closed.
And of course, don't forget to plan your snack and beverage game ahead of time. There will be food vendors, but bringing a picnic is the way to go. No alcohol will be sold in the park, so get your favorite koozies ready and bring a cooler.
Listen to the Full Hardly Strictly 2016 Playlist
See you in the park! Be sure to follow along at @wsanfrancisco for live HSB updates and tag your pictures with #newnextsf.