Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival happens every year in San Fransisco. Over 100 musical acts come together in Golden Gate Park to swoon and croon surrounded by Redwood trees and and eclectic crowds. It is a FREE gathering thanks to the late Warren Hellman. This festival, park, and city hold a special place in my heart. It is a beautiful thing when music can bring people together in such a tangible way. This festival is unlike any other, there is simply nothing to prove. People come for the music, the lush surroundings, and the community that forms. You can come fully prepared with blankets, drinks, and whatever you want to indulge in, or you can just wander through crowds and bum beers off of friendly folks. There are seven stages with a constant stream of music flowing. By some divine magic the weather is always crisp and warm enough to wear shorts...a rare thing to come by in SF.
Of the hundreds of artists set to perform, the performances I was most stoked about included Rosanne Cash (Johnny Cash's daughter) The California Honeydrops, Delta Rae, Mavis Staples, Jim James, The Allah-Las, Emmylou Harris (!!!), M. Ward, and my all time favorite Conor Oberst. Conor Oberst has been referred to as this generation's Bob Dylan. He is a true poet, social activist, and a beautifully artistic individual. With my sister by my side we made our way to the front row for his set. The stage was backed by a canopy of trees and framed with simply strung red, blue, & golden lights. The perfect setting for this folk-rock musician. The crisp air, the energy of the crowd, the growing anticipation for those first chords...everything was surreal.
In this modern age, slowing down and being fully immersed in your surroundings is an art in itself.
I hope to see you swaying beneath the trees next year!
Now, what to do when the festival is over and the city is wide awake...
Where to go for a classic San Francisco cocktail (and possibly meet a few man buns along the way):
T R A D I T I O N- This Speak Easy Americana style bar is right in the heart of The Tenderloin District. Fully stocked with an array of Whiskey and bearded fellows !
M U K A- Say "Hello" to the resident Bartender Bryan ! He knows everything there is to know about Tequila, there's no doubt they have the best Mezcal in the city! With plants hanging from the ceiling and the moodiest lighting you'll feel like getting a little lost here. Make some friends at this hidden gem, The San Francisco Ballerinas frequent this hang after performances !
T H E C A S T R O D I S T R I C T- If a fancy cocktail really isn't your thing and you'd rather just dance around till 4am with a bunch of sweaty men who love Beyoncé more than you, then the Castro District will be your heaven on earth! You can finally show off that hair flip you've been practicing !
Stay inspired, curious, creative, & kind! Thank you for being a part of my adventure!
Until next time, cheers Bellas!