Written by Nadia Ibanez, photos by Kevin Kelleher
Some peeps (ahem, my photographer for instance) would say that I’m a festie girl. I travel throughout the state for three-day music festivals. I’ll drop almost $400 for a weekend pass to something. I don’t scoff at body paint, metallic temporary tattoos or putting flowers and ribbons in my hair. I’ll put on a flowy dress and cowboy boots. And I’ll f*cking dance my booty off with strangers in front of the main stage without skipping a beat.
As I’m rounding out my first year in the City, I’m finding about all of the annual street parties, SF-centric holidays and music festivals. The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival was last weekend and I finally had the chance to experience it for myself. Three days, seven stages, in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Oh, and it’s a totally free event. I mean…if you’re in the city and don’t check it out, you’re doing it wrong.
SF venture capitalist and philanthropist Warren Hellman came up with and funded the non-commercial festival to focus on the music, the community and the absolute beauty of the venue. The first event was held in 2001 and more than 750,000 music lovers trek to the GGP each year.
Because Hardly Strictly is a non-commercial event, don’t expect to find any booths sponsored by the likes of Google, Spotify, Chevy or any other corporations hawking their brand and wares like you’d find at Outside Lands or other festivals. But rather, you’ll find groups of people bringing in their own lawn chairs, blankets, booze and food intending to spend the entire day in front of their favorite stage. The idea of “pack it in, pack it out” is huge at Hardly Strictly and it was kinda amazing to see people picking up after each other and not trashing the park like you’ll often see at festivals.
Kevin and I ran around the festival all weekend and shot crazy concert goers, musicians, free-lovin’ drifters and everyone in between. We hope you enjoy this photo gallery.
For more information, visit http://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.