ICYMI: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015

Nadia Ibanez, 31, of San Diego, California watches Steve Earle & The Dukes close out Saturday night (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Festie girl, in full force.

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.

Crowds flock the Banjo and also main Stage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Crowds flock the Banjo and also main Stage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)

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.

 

Gypsy Halo founders at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015
Alvaro Ramirez III of Miami, Florida and Emily Joy Tenney of Boston, Massachusetts bring back the Summer of Love at the Banjo Stage on October 4, 2015. They also created the Gypsy Halos brand (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concert goers
Tuan Le of San Francisco and Chris Kuhlman of Los Angeles go over the three day schedule on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
An unidentified attendee takes in the music from afar (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
An unidentified attendee takes in the music from afar (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Kirby Leyshon, 22, of Denver, Colorado aptly demonstrates the spirit at Golden Gate Park during Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Kirby Leyshon, 22, of Denver, Colorado aptly demonstrates the spirit at Golden Gate Park during Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Charles Bradley, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015
The AMAZING Charles Bradley serenades the crowd at the Arrow Stage on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Steve Earle, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Steve Earle shouts out his band The Dukes on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
John Scheibe, 60, of San Francisco catches up on the arts between sets on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
John Scheibe, 60, of San Francisco catches up on the arts between sets on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Will Loughrin, 21, of Santa Clara and Anna Johansson, 20, of Redwood City share a moment on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Will Loughrin, 21, of Santa Clara and Anna Johansson, 20, of Redwood City share a moment on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Joe Ely, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Joe Ely shares a laugh with his band The Flatlanders at the Rooster Stage on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Butch Hancock of The Flatlanders, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015
Butch Hancock of The Flatlanders takes over the Arrow Stage on October 3, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Indigo Girls, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
The Indigo Girls close out the night at the Rooster Stage on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls closes the night at the Rooster Stage on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls closes the night at the Rooster Stage on October 4, 2015 (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Julia Becker, 1, of San Francisco parties harder than you (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)
Julia Becker, 1, of San Francisco parties harder than you (Kevin Kelleher/Special to Wander Magazine)

 

We love this festie girl in training. Until next year!
We love this festie girl in training. Until next year!

For more information, visit http://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.

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