San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival will once again provide broke festival fanatics with one last chance for a weekend full of music before the harsh reality of winter sets in. Set for September 30 – October 2 at Golden Gate Park, this year’s edition offers Robert Plant & the Band of Joy, Bright Eyes, Bob Mould, Broken Social Scene, and Buckethead for the price of your attendance — aka, it’s free.
Other notable acts include John Prine, Bill Kirchen, Kris Kristofferson & Merle Haggard, Gomez, DeVotchKa, Gillian Welch, Dr. John & the Lower 911, Earl Scruggs, Patty Griffin, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle and the Dukes (and Duchesses) featuring Allison Moorer, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Justin Townes Earle, The Jayhawks, Abigail Washburn, and Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses.
There are a bunch of indie favorites, too, including Thurston Moore, Robyn Hitchcock, M. Ward, Fitz & the Tantrums, The Low Anthem, Elbow, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Woods, Cass McCombs, A.A. Bondy, and The Band of Heathens.
Rounding out the bill are names like Buddy Miller, The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Charlie Musselwhite, Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer, The Felice Brothers, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, The Belle Brigade, Jessica Lea Mayfield, The Civil Wars, Dark Star Orchestra, and, yes, MC Hammer.
Once again, the festival is free to attend. So, you really have no excuse.