Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Ricky Skaggs at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Ricky Skaggs at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

We saw part of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass today in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It’s a two day event on five stages, with some major talent.

On Saturday, we saw Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Ramblers and Ricky Skaggs. Yes, it’s that Steve Martin on banjo. They finished with a smoking version of ‘Orange Blossom Special.’ Ricky Skaggs then took it to another level, he’s just flat amazing.

Other acts this weekend include Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Nick Lowe, Dave Alvin, The Chieftains, Mavis Staples, Billy Bragg, and Gillian Welch.

This is an annual event. And it’s free. Yes, free.


  1. It’s a three day festival not two days. On 6 stages not 5
    It’s financed by Warren Hellman. A native son who happens to be a billionaire. He has set up a trust to ensure the free festival continues long after he is gone. It’s also worth mentioning that there is no corporate sponsorship and no advertising of any kind.

    • Thanks for the info. It was our first time there. We lived in SF for a year recently, amazing town, not many cities have events like this.

  2. For a southern Californian to drive 500 miles for a show says alot, but this is one of the true treasures of San Francisco, and all we can say is THANK YOU Mr. Hellman to provide the masses with such an awesome array of talent, and to have a crowd in excess of 3/4 of a million people, peaceful and harmonic with no visible signs of any sort of problems. Only in San Francisco can this be done, peaceful and at times awesome. We have been to 4 of the HSB’s and I cant wait for HSB 10. Your gift to us Mr. Hellman is an absolutely worthy present that we can only repay you by saying thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Wayne you are truly Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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