Photos: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2016

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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is the annual free concert in Golden Gate Park that offers just the right amount of bluegrass along with a whole spectrum of other music. I’ve been going every year since the aughts and it still amazes me that it’s completely free (thanks to the generosity of Warren Hellman and his descendants). You don’t even have to pay a “mind tax” because there’s no advertising. By contrast, Outside Lands – which is held in roughly the same exact location in the park – is smaller, chock full of branding, and costs almost $400 for a weekend pass. Not to mention, the lineup at the free Hardly Strictly show is normally just as good, if not better some years. If I’m going to be herded like cattle at a music festival, I’d much rather pay $400 less for it.

Here’s an astonishing list of just a few of the dozens of bands that performed at the free 2016 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival:

God bless them all.

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Photos: 2016 Peace in the Park Festival in Golden Gate Park

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It’s always a little foggy and chilly in the park, regardless how warm it is in the Mission District. We rode our bikes from the Lower Haight, primarily to stretch our legs, but also to see if there was anything worth seeing in the park on a Saturday. Someone gave us a flyer Friday night outside of Bi-Rite on Divis for the festival, so it seemed like fate. The festival wasn’t very crowded. Typical to most Golden Gate Park gatherings, there was a strong hippie presence and Indian food. Most entertaining was the hip hop artist who specialized in a style of music I can only describe as educational/children’s/hip hop.

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