SF Rec & Park Celebrates 15th Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will be celebrating the 15th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, an admission-free music festival in the heart of Golden Gate Park. The festival features more than 100 musical artists on seven stages with the opening acts playing at 12p.m. Friday. The music ends Sunday evening with performances by Emmylou Harris, ALO, Indigo Girls, Neko Case, and Los Lobos.

“Free music in Golden Gate Park was part of my culture growing up in the sixties,” said Saturday night headliner Steve Earle. “And I’m from Texas.” Earle is a 3-time Grammy-winning folk and country star. He has collaborated with many musicians including Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Sheryl Crow. This will be his 14th consecutive year performing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

The event was a philanthropic dream of the late Warren Hellman, whose family foundation continues to pay for the festival. Several of the stages will be located in Hellman Hollow, formerly Speedway Meadow. Now, more than 750,000 people come out to enjoy the music each year.

“We hope to see as many as one million visitors to glorious Golden Gate Park starting this Friday,” said Mick Hellman, Warren’s son. “Our parents envisioned the Festival as an artists’ community.  We welcome back our beloved repeat star artists such as Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch and Robert Earl Keen, and celebrate our newcomers including Lee Ann Womack and Joe Jackson.”

Before his passing in 2011, Mr. Hellman began the tradition of holding special pre-festival concerts for thousands of San Francisco school children in Golden Gate Park. This year’s educational component will take place as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days.

“We are more than grateful to Warren Hellman and his family for continuing the tradition of giving Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to the people of this City,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “This festival has established itself as a keystone of San Francisco culture over the last 15 years. We’re looking forward to many more years of our partnership.”

In addition to music, there will be 50 food vendors that will be selling paella, pizza slices, spicy pies, tamales, and veggie wraps (to name a few). There will also be a silent disco all three days beginning at 11am between the Rooster and Banjo stages.

Maps, schedules of performances, and bios of the artists can be found here: http://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com/2015/

For other questions, including a list of road closures in Golden Gate Park, visit: http://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com/2015/info/

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