The hundreds of thousands of music lovers who typically flock to Golden Gate Park each fall for a weekend of free music will now have to set their eyes on hopefully meeting up again in 2022.
Meeting up in-person, that is.
Organizers have announced that — for the second consecutive year — the incredibly popular Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival will be a strictly online affair, albeit one featuring such fan favorites as Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Belá Fleck and many more.
“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,” reads a statement on the event’s website, hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.
In place of the in-person event, organizers will be hosting “Come What May — Hardly Strictly Everywhere 2021,” a streamed music event that runs Oct. 1-3 on hardlystrictlybluegrass.com, facebook.com/hardlystrictlybluegrass and youtube.com/user/hsbfest.
The event will feature 27 sets of music, “brought to you ‘live’ from the Bay Area, with additional sets filmed in New Orleans and S.F. earlier this year,” according to the statement on the website.
The lineup also featres Andy Shauf; Ani DiFranco with The Hardly Strictly Lesbian Band; Bachelor; Bob Mould with Fred Armisen; Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole with Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes; Della Mae; Galactic featuring Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph with Anders Osborne and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux; Hawktail; Jackie Greene with Tim Bluhm; Lake Street Dive; Las Cafeteras; Meklit with Ambrose Akinmusire; Peter Rowan with Michael Kang; Rainbow Girls with John Craigie; Seratones with Alynda Segarra; Terence Blanchard with The E-Collective and the Turtle Island String Quartet; The Soul Rebels with Ivan Neville and the Tallest Man on Earth.
The stream starts at 1 p.m. each day.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass announces “Come What May – Hardly Strictly Everywhere 2021”
— Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (@HSBFest) August 19, 2021
While the in-person Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has been canceled for 2021, Golden Gate Park’s other major music festival that — Outside Lands — is still set to take place over Halloween weekend, Oct. 29-31. Visit sfoutsidelands.com for more details.
“Come What May — Hardly Strictly Everywhere 2021” follows last year’s successful “HSB Presents — Let the Music Play On,” which reportedly garnered over a million online views.
“This year’s festival promises to be even better, as a hybrid event with both intimate livestream sets and pre-recorded performances,” according to the statement on the website. “Due to careful strategic planning, and a little bit of luck, ‘Come What May’ was in production well in advance of the Delta variant’s surge, so we are able to offer a treasure trove of performances, presented in a safe environment for all — performers, crew and audience.”