Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in SF

Discussion in 'Clubs, DJ’s and Festivals' started by hardrokker, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. #1 hardrokker, Oct 8, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
    Saturday attended the free 3 day 2019 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The festival has happened each year since 2001 but now has expanded to several music genres including rock, pop, rap and country. Crowd size Saturday by mid afternoon in high 70F's temps was enormous in the hundreds of thousands with many areas packed like sardines. This was the first year for security purposes they used tall wire fencing to block entry into vegetation and tree areas beside the meadows and entry points where 7 stages were set up or next to all the paths and roads between stages. Thus people were much more constrained. That also blocked easy ways to get around through tree zones. A long list of bands played between 11am and 7pm thus this was a day time music festival.

    At the 4 entries, security sans metal detectors only bothered looking into bags and coolers so it was easy to walk in with weed and paraphernalia which we did. No alcohol was sold on site but could be carried in and that of course encouraged more to consume weed that was modestly in the air all day. I enjoyed the music including much I was not familiar with. Capping the day was a Robert Plant set but was so packed if one had not found a spot early, one could not get close enough to the stage to actually hear a clean sound. I spent most of the afternoon wandering about thus on my feet and dancing. Lines at the food concession stands were long with food and drink pricy. Likewise long lines at porta potties. The volunteer groups did a terrific job working the venue, especially those working all the trash bins that quickly overflowed in to huge piles. But the workers were like machines filling large plastic bags and carrying it all away.

    Audio at these types of outdoor music events often is rather distorted and difficult to hear at distance or without a direct sound path to where one is. Additionally there is a considerable buzz from people talking that muddies what one can hear. However that hardly reduced my enjoyment as much of the fun was people watching with an awesome vibe everywhere and for this guy, there were endless fine women to observe.

    Although cannabis was illegal to use, as has always over decades been the situation within large crowds in San Francisco, it is impossible for authorities to do anything so police and event personnel learned years ago to let it be. The best thing it was FREE like in no tickets required that recalls events back to the 60s/70s era when it was common.
     
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