Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival: Expectations vs. reality

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Last weekend was the amazing Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival! For those of you who have not checked Instagram in the past week, Hardly Strictly is a free music festival in Golden Gate Park that consists of artists that UC Berkeley students pretend to know. It should be a great way to escape Berkeley for a couple of days, but as weve experienced from past music festival excursions, our time did not live up to our expectations.

1.  The weather’s fine?

Expectation: A peaceful afternoon in beautiful Golden Gate Park

Reality: Walking around for hours drenched in sweat.

2. Good vibes only. 

Expectation: All the festival attendees would be super chill and down to earth.

Reality: There were quite a few rude older people who seemed to be mad at millennials and Gen Z kids (who were decked out with their New Yorker reusable bags, Madewell sweaters and wide-brim hats) for being there.

3. A penny saved is a penny earned. 

Expectation: It’s a free concert, so I won’t be spending any money!

Reality: An Uber ride there: $12.52. Lunch: $15. Uber ride back: $17.5. This resulted in subtracting $45.02 from our bank account.

4. Let’s catch up!  

Expectation: Everyone will be there, so you will run into a bunch of friends!

Reality: You see a couple of nasty kids from your high school who you avoid eye contact with, plus a friend’s mom who you try to hide from in order to escape the inevitable awkward conversation.

While it’s good to stay realistic, we can’t bash Hardly Strictly too much. Even though we spent too much money, sweated too much and were reminded of people from our past who we’d rather forget, anything is better than spending a Saturday in Berkeley studying.

Contact Elena Cavender at [email protected].