Behind the Scenes at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Have you ever heard of Bluegrass music? I bet you’ve heard of it but just don’t recognize it. Be sure to check out the video inside. That is the sound of the Sunshine by Michael Franti and Spearhead at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco. It is one of the biggest free music festivals in the world. 

Hardly Strictly was founded by Warren Hellman. Hellman hit it big in the investing business, and he then started Hardly Strictly Bluegrass because he was a huge Bluegrass fan. Hellman died at the age of 77 in San Francisco, on a.m. 18, 2011. But since then his family has kept the tradition going.

This year they put up seven stages, two more than the usual five. About 100,000 people showed up this year. They only had five stages up on Friday but they opened up the other two Friday night for Saturday and Sunday. The stages all had names like Swan, Arrow, Banjo, Towers of Gold, Rooster, Bandwagon and Porch.

“It’s a big thrill performing in front of so many people,” said Poor Man’s Whiskey’s Josh Brough. Brough and his band performed for a group of about 200 middle schoolers from all around San Francisco on the first day of the show.

If you would like to experience the festival first hand I recommend going next year, it is in Golden Gate park every year in the fall.