A guide to Hardly Strictly 2014

Cancel your plans for your entire weekend, because the Clog has a better idea. Pretend you don’t have three essays due on Monday and brave BART to go to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on Friday through Sunday in San Francisco. It’s a free, three-day bluegrass music festival in Golden Gate Park, and no, the artists don’t all sound like this:

mumford and sons

The festival features more than 100 artists on seven stages, meaning it’s pretty much the Coachella of bluegrass. But we at the Clog want to ward off what we call Coachella Syndrome: the stress, mental breakdowns and broken friendships inherent in choosing which artists to see and which to miss. To this end, we’ve compiled three potential itineraries that we think are pretty cool — one for each day of Hardly Strictly.

1. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3

Morning

  • Poor Man’s Whiskey, 10:30 a.m., Star Stage
    • Although not all of the festival’s featured artists are strictly bluegrass performers, Poor Man’s Whiskey is for people who love the bluegrass twang. They’re on the rise and have even played at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Afternoon

  • Lucinda Williams, 4:30 p.m., Star Stage
    • Also known as the artist your parents blasted in the car on the way to school, Lucinda Williams has opened for Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. She’s won a Grammy, has had an album go gold and wants to perform for you for free.

Evening

  • Yo La Tengo, 5:45 p.m., Arrow Stage
    • We at the Clog recently went through our iTunes and rediscovered a Yo La Tengo song that was an iTunes free single. They were also recently featured on the season six finale of Parks and Recreation. We’re pretty excited.

2. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4

Morning

  • The Felice Brothers, 1:25 p.m., Porch Stage
    • This group performs with an accordion. Need we say any more?

Afternoon

  • St. Paul and the Broken Bones, 2:30 p.m., Arrow Stage
    • We haven’t heard much about this band at the Clog, but we can say that we like their music. We’re looking forward to seeing more of them.

Evening

  • Social Distortion, 4:45 p.m., Towers of Gold Stage
    • Social Distortion has been together for three decades and has had an album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, reach #4 on the Billboard Charts. Also, Bruce Springsteen brought them onstage to cover one of their songs. We think this might merit a quick stop by their set this weekend.

3. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5

Morning

  • The Apache Relay, 11 a.m., Towers of Gold Stage
    • The Apache Band formed after only one gig together at Belmont University. Now, they’re on their second album. Watch their performance to claim that you heard about them first!

Afternoon

  • Lake Street Dive, 4:30 p.m., Star Stage
    • May we just point out that the above video is live? Excuse us while we shed tears of happiness. Lake Street Dive started their rise to success by posting a cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” on YouTube. The video quickly amassed more than two million views. Since then, they’ve released a new album and have been featured musical guests for Ellen Degeneres and Steven Colbert. That’s right, if you go to see them, it’s two degrees of separation from Colbert. Thank us later.

Evening

  • Emmylou Harris, 5:45 p.m., Banjo Stage
    • Emmylou Harris has won 12 Grammys. Are you convinced yet?

Check out the full Hardly Strictly schedule here, and let us know what your Hardly Strictly itinerary is in the comments below.

Image sources:Eget billede, under Creative Commons and GIF 1

Contact Emma Schiffer at [email protected].