How cool is this? No one is selling a thing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass — not even a ticket. his Bluegrass-ish festival is free of charge. It is also free of corporate sponsorship. Founded and initially funded by venture capitalist Warren Hellman, and funded by the Hellman Foundation after his 2011 death, this Bluegrass-ish festival is commerce-free zone with no desperately Instagrammable advertisements vying for your attention, for once. (Think of it as an anti-South Beach Wine and Food fest). Instead, all eyes are on some of the best of American music, whether it be folk, funk, country or soul. Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Golden Gate Park to hear the likes of Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Galactic, Sturgill Simpson, and Ani DiFranco. It all makes for a chilled out, family-friendly weekend of banjo picking and a whole lot of swaying back and forth.
The non-commercial, three-day fest is now in it’s 21st year. After two years of hosting livestreamed events during the pandemic, the 2022 version if an in-person event. It will be held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco from September 30 to October 2. Currently, the lineup (as of July 21) is still under wraps.