Relive the magic of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015

Sit back and relax while you relive the magic in the park through our editorial coverage.

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Rest In Peace Guy Clark (1941 – 2016)

Guy ClarkGrammy-winner, Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member, Academy of Country Music Poet’s Award honoree, and fearless raconteur Guy Charles Clark died Tuesday after a long illness.

For more than forty years, the Clark home was a gathering place for songwriters, folk singers, artists and misfits; many who sat at the feet of the master songwriter in his element, willing Guy’s essence into their own pens. Throughout his long and extraordinary career, Guy Clark blazed a trail for original and groundbreaking artists and troubadours including his good friends Rodney Crowell, Jim McGuire, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp, and Vince Gill. (

Thank you Guy, for all that you gave us. May you rest in peace.

Guy performed at HSB every year from 2004 – 2011 and below is a video from his first appearance in 2004.

In Memory of Merle Haggard

On April 6, 2016 we lost another musical icon and member of the HSB family, Merle Haggard.

This excerpt from the SF Weekly article after his appearance at HSB11 puts it well:

The Merle/Kris performance appeared to be the great unifier of all HSB attendees. The silver haired, elder cowboy-hat demographic, identified at performances by Robyn Hitchcock or Gillian Welch, danced like no one was watching. Aside them, younger fans in tight black jeans and denim jackets shared their flasks before eventually congregating in front of A.A. Bondy. Legends achieve this status because their music spans decades, defies genres and speaks to people across experiences or musical preferences.”

Steve Earle also wrote a very personal op-ed for the NYT that you can read here.

Rest in peace, Merle.

In Loving Memory of Otis Clay

We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Otis Clay over the weekend. His performance at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 11 was incredible, and we hope you’ll take a moment to watch him in action. His full set (with special guest Chick Rodgers) is available HERE.

Steve Earle & City Winery Present John Henry’s Friends at the Town Hall NYC [Ultimate Hardly Strictly Experience]

On Monday, December 14th, Steve Earle & The Dukes are hosting a benefit concert at The Town Hall in NYC to help raise important funds for children diagnosed with Autism. This will be the first show in New York City since Steve Earle and The Dukes’ new album Terraplane. Joined by Jackson Browne, Justin Townes Earle and The Mastersons, this evening of amazing music is sure to be a memorable one. All net proceeds raised by ticket sales will be donated to the McCarton School, which provides year-round individualized instruction to children with Autism, ages 3 to 21. McCarton specializes in teaching students the academic, social and motor skills needed to lead full and productive lives as they integrate into their communities. This is a topic dear to Steve as his 5-year old son, John Henry, attends the school.

Tickets & VIP tickets are available HERE.

To show our support, HSB is offering a one-of-a-kind Hardly Strictly Ultimate Experience which includes:
-round-trip airfare for 2 to HSB16 – from anywhere in the continental US!
-1 room at a charming San Francisco boutique hotel for 3 nights
-2 exclusive Friends & Family passes for the festival – plus onstage seating for Steve Earle’s performance!
-1 signed HSB 2008 poster, by artist Claude Shade.
-2 VIP tickets (orchestra seats) to the upcoming Town Hall Show on 12/14.

The HSB Ultimate Experience is available HERE.

In Loving Memory of Claude Shade


When Warren first mentioned that someone from Goodby Silverstein was designing our inaugural Strictly Bluegrass poster we were surprised.  We expected something more organic.  Then we saw some of Claude’s work and understood.  It was original, he embodied something very unique and it could only be expressed through his eyes.

Claude designed every poster for the festival from 2001-2015.  It was a process.  Deadlines were not something he particularly addressed.  We could stress all we wanted but in the end we were always blown away with his finished product.

To say that he was a photographer does not do justice to his talent. He was a character; an artist without pretense.  He was genuinely fun to be around, usually smiling at you while his eyes were illuminating elsewhere.  It was how he viewed the world and how he shared his mindset with the rest of us.

The void Claude left when he passed away last week won’t ever be filled.  We are devastated to lose a friend and visionary who shared his passion with us.  Claude was warm, funny, clever and irreverent.  When I read Jeff Goodby describe him as “All Rick Moranis on the outside & Tom Waits on the inside” I smiled, he captured Claude’s spirit precisely.

We were extremely fortunate to have Claude as a colleague and friend.  His contributions to the festival will be with us always. – Sheri Sternberg & Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Ad Age Article

Ad Week Article

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2015 Webcast Archives Available

The festival may be over, but you can still relive the magic by visiting our webcast archives! We have over 30 sets of amazing music to enjoy (with more still to come)!  Check it all out in the Webcast Archive!

Thank you everyone for another great year!

It was another year of fantastic music and people in Golden Gate Park! We hope you were able to come and join us! Visit the Webcast Archive to watch sets you missed (or re-live ones you did see).

HSB Volunteer Signups Open!

Volunteer sign-ups for this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival are in full swing! We are looking for positive, capable music lovers to join us in making this year the best yet. Positions are available in a variety of departments, including decor, recycling, hospitality, and more. In exchange for your time and effort, you’ll receive an exclusive commemorative t-shirt.

Visit for our volunteer sign-up form, choose a few shifts, and we’ll go from there!

HSB Webcast Archives

Relive much of previous year’s festivals by visiting the archives of artists from Banjo, Arrow, Star and Tower stages! Use the webcast page to select by day, by stage, or by band or artist name.

View 2014 Archives »
View 2013 Archives »