750,000 Festival Attendees Expected at Golden Gate Park for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

More than 100 musical artists are scheduled to perform across seven stages at San Francisco’s annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in the city’s Golden Gate Park this weekend.

Starting Friday, the free, annual festival held in Hellman Hollow and Marx and Lindley Meadows in Golden Gate Park is expected to draw roughly 750,000 people.

The family-friendly festival features a wide-range of musical styles including jazz, country and alternative rock, in addition to bluegrass.

Headliners across the three-day festival include musicians Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst, Emmylou Harris and more.

Founded by the late Warren Hellman, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is now in its 14th year.

On Friday morning, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, musical acts The Aquabats and P.M.W. will entertain thousands of Bay Area middle school students.

The student-centric event will be held in conjunction with the Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international network of concerts that harness the power of music to spread tolerance and hope throughout the world, according to event organizers.

According to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, the festival will feature a pop-up museum in Hellman’s honor. The museum will display memorabilia collected over Hellman’s lifetime, as well as mementos from past Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festivals.

The festival runs from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Much of JFK Drive and surrounding streets in Golden Gate Park will be closed during the festival days and festival-goers are advised to take public transit, bicycle or walk as traffic in the area is expected to be heavy and parking will be extremely limited.

Additional Muni bus service and Golden Gate Park shuttle service will be running and extensive bike parking will be available.

Over 50 vendors will be selling food and drink at the event. While alcohol will not be sold at the festival, beer and wine in non-glass containers are allowed inside the park, according to event organizers.

The full festival lineup and additional information can be viewed at hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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