2010 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival – San Francisco, CA, Golden Gate Park
2010 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival – San Francisco, Golden Gate Park
There are music festivals and then there is the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. This is the mother of them all. I know there is Bondaroo and Lollapalooza and that big one in Indio and Outside Lands. Those don’t even come close to comparing with the Hardly Strictly. The Mother of them all is a free, yes FREE! A three day extravaganza in Golden Gate Park held every early October. If you want a true taste of what this city is all about you have to check out the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.
Here are a few things to bear in mind:
BRING YOUR OWN BEER. They don’t sell it here and you will be one thirsty camper if you don’t lug in a cooler, a backpack filled with suds or a bottle of wine (if you are on a date) or even a hip flask…fuck it, just bring the whole bottle…there will be folks to share with!
Do not expect to park…There is no parking! Take the bus, cab, or ride your bike.
Be cool…..free concerts bring a lot of folks out of the wood work. Practice “smart” concert etiquette…you know, don’t be a douche bag and don’t just stop to watch the show(s) when you are blocking someone’s view. People are poached out. Courtesy my friends!
There are ATMs and food vendors galore out there. Pack a picnic or eat there. This is the Festival’s tenth anniversary and word has definitely gotten out. The concession stands are booming with a vast array of cuisines and treats. I have to say, I was somewhat amazed at how much really great looking food and bizarre things folks are selling. A+ for capturing the San Francisco vibe of diversity through culinary delights.
The most bizarre fellow I ran across this year was a dreadlocked guy pulling a cooler of coconuts. For $8 he would lop of the top of a shucked coconut and after you pulled few sips of the milk out he would top of your coconut with rum. I have to say the elixir was incredible! I imagine this is how the pirates used to drink it? The dark rum and the coconut milk have a slightly buttery taste. And not nearly as strong as one would imagine. A must do if you see a dreadlocked hippie in Golden Gate Park wielding a butcher knife and a bottle of rum. Wait…make sure he has coconuts as there may be several hippies in Golden Gate Park with dreadlocks, butcher knives and half gallon bottles of rum!
Oh ya…and look for the guy with the brass buckets of confectionary treats (around 25th and Fulton-ish ). He is a long time favorite in my book! And as always, ask what you are eating or you may be going on a very special ride!
Here is a link to the band line-ups and the set schedule, printable maps and all the 411 you will need: