Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Comes “Back To The Park” With Genre-Spanning Range Of Artists

Article Contributed by Big Hassle Media | Published on Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is very proud to unveil the initial lineup for its long-awaited live return to San Francisco, CA’s iconic Golden Gate Park on September 30-October 2. The three-day, multi-stage free music festival will come “Back To The Park” with an eclectic bill of performers spanning an array of genres, including Marcus Mumford, Allison Russell, Las Cafeteras, Lucius, Galactic, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Joy Oladokun, Charley Crockett, Buddy Miller, and Dashawn Hickman. The lineup was teased with an exclusive medley streaming now on the official Hardly Strictly Bluegrass website and HSB22 app (available for Apple and Android devices HERE). Additional performers will be announced soon.

“The recently released first medley should get fans really excited about what’s in store for them this year - a little bit of everything,” says Hardly Strictly Bluegrass executive producer Sheri Sternberg. “We are thrilled to have old friends return like Galactic and Buddy Miller as well as some first-timers: Marcus Mumford, Joy Oladokun, Lucius, Charley Crockett, and more. Others, like Allison Russell and Las Cafeteras, have joined us virtually the past two years & we're delighted to have them join us in Golden Gate Park. The entire staff is looking forward to returning home to the best backdrop any festival could ask for.”

“We’ve heard about Hardly Strictly over the years and are thrilled to be part of this gift to the city, a beautifully curated musical weekend made free and accessible to its residents in one of the great parks in the world,” says Holly Laessig from Lucius.

Over the last two decades, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has grown from a one-day local attraction to a world-renowned three-day festival that attracts more than half a million people each year. The one-of-a-kind, annual free event boasts a diverse array of artists spanning roots and Americana, funk, rock, soul, and more, highlighted by new and unexpected acts alongside annual favorites such as Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle.

Founded by Warren Hellman in 2001, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass marked the late financier/philanthropist’s gift to the City of San Francisco, offering a free outdoor festival in the historic Golden Gate Park to serve as an annual celebration of American music.  Honoring the legacy of Warren and Chris Hellman, their four children who are the directors of the Hellman Foundation oversee Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. They are guided by a very special mission celebrating American roots music and its many outgrowths in an environment that fosters joy, creativity, freedom, peace, collaboration, love of music, mutual respect, and spiritual community.

During the pandemic, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass went digital, presenting exclusive livestream events offering a treasure trove of live and pre-recorded performances that earned over 1M online views while capturing the festival’s remarkable spirit. 2020’s “Let The Music Play On,” a highly acclaimed, three-hour broadcast featuring a rich lineup of major artists filmed in some of the country’s most legendary music venues, proved a landmark moment in a year that saw countless events cancelled or postponed around the globe. The following year saw the HSB team embarking on an even more ambitious project, “Come What May,” comprising beautifully captured performances and interviews filmed in New Orleans and San Francisco during the spring of 2021. The unprecedented events broadened Hardly Strictly Bluegrass’s reach to an international audience, showcasing its one-of-a-kind musical message while proving a miraculous musical gift to millions of fans around the world. Over 20 hours of original content featured in “Let The Music Play On” and “Come What May” can be viewed now via Hardly Strictly Bluegrass TV (HSB TV), available for free to viewers around the globe HERE.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass also played an invaluable role supporting those whose lives and livelihoods were adversely effected by the worldwide concert shutdown. Since the start of the pandemic, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass’s Music Relief efforts have resulted in more than $4 million being distributed to the music and arts communities in the Bay Area and across the country. In 2021, HSB invested $1 million across three organizations responding to critical relief and recovery needs, including the Esther’s Orbit Room Cultural Revival Project, Sweet Relief’s COVID-19 Fund, and The Tenderloin Museum’s Sounds of the Tenderloin project. For more information, please visit www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com/music-relief.

Going forward, the safety of artists, fans and staff will remain a top priority for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. This year’s event will see perimeter fencing with walk-thru screening technology at each entry. No hard sided coolers will be allowed. All guests are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated and test before coming to the park; masks should be worn when not actively eating or drinking.