Free Annual SF Festival Announces 2016 Lineup

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The full lineup has been announced for the free 16th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, taking place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park September 30-October 2.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 2016 Logo

The 2016 event, as is customary for HSB, features a wide array of performers, including Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Boz Scaggs, Rosanne Cash, electric Hot Tuna, Emmylou Harris, Cake, Buffy Sainte-Marie, T Bone Burnett, Steve Earle and the Dukes, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Conor Oberst, Mavis Staples, Jonathan Richman, Robyn Hitchcock, the Flatlanders featuring Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock, John Doe, the Allah-Las, Chris Isaak, Dropkick Murphys, Dave Rawlings Machine, Patty Griffin, John Hammond, acoustic Yo La Tengo, Bill Kirchen & Austin de Lone, Dave Alvin’s Tribute to Merle Haggard & California Songwriters and dozens more—more than 100 acts in all, on seven stages.

Watch Robert Plant and Alison Krauss perform “Black Dog” at the 2008 HSB festival

The non-ticketed gathering was originally conceived by venture capitalist Warren Hellman, who died in 2011 at age 77. Hellman saw the festival as his gift to the San Francisco music community. “What moves me is the philanthropic stuff,” he told Forbes magazine in 2006. “Giving really does move me. Part of it is selfish. It’s fun to be appreciated. But the other part is that good things really are growing. How could you have more fun than that? What the hell is money for if it isn’t for something like that?”

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass features artists from within numerous genres (hence its name) and operates without any financial support from corporations. When launched in 2001, the festival did focus on bluegrass music, but three years later Hellman expanded the scope, adding the word Hardly to its title. Since its inception the festival has featured artists such as Guy Clark, Merle Haggard, Nick Lowe, Los Lobos, Elvis Costello and many others.

Performances are webcast and later archived at the festival’s site.


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