Hardly Strictly Bluegrass survival guide


UPDATE 10/2: The weather will be something out of Coachella on Friday with 88 degree highs expected. Forget the layers, bring extra sunscreen and water.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is one of the most anticipated events of the year in San Francisco, but with it’s increased size over the past decade it can be a daunting weekend for some. Showbams breaks down all the pro tips you could need to enjoy long days of stellar, free music in a stunning setting. 

View the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014 Schedule.


Public Transit is going to be your best bet for arriving at Hardly Strictly in the morning. The 5, 5L, 31, 38, 71 and N are you best bets if coming west to the the Park. NOTE: Some 5 busses will end at 6th Ave.
• Parking can be rather tricky, as you can imagine. It’s possible, and much more feasible the earlier you arrive in the area. Heading past 25th Avenue deeper into the Outer Richmond may be a better bet than trying to park near the festival stages. You can park in the park on Friday and Saturday, but it’s limited to 4 hours, so it’s a gamble. Limited pay lots at these locations were available in 2013:

  • George Washington High School – 600 32nd Ave. [enter at 30th Ave. between Geary & Anza]
  • Argonne 680 18th Ave. [enter at Cabrillo between 17th Ave. and 18th Ave.]
  • Lafayette 4545 Anza Street @ 36th Avenue [enter on 36th between Anza and Balboa]
  • Presidio Middle School (Sat & Sun ONLY) – 450 30th Ave. [enter on 29th Ave. between Geary and Clement]
  • Jefferson Elementary School (Sat & Sun ONLY) – 1725 Irving St. [Enter on 18th Ave. between Irving and Judah]

• Be aware of not blocking driveways if you park, your car will be towed.
Bike parking is available in the form of self-parking or valet.

• Take a look at the schedule and figure which stage interests you most each day — this is where you should setup ‘Homebase’. For best location, arrive an hour or two before the music starts. From there, you can wander to other stages but still have a place to leave your picnic and cooler. 
• Don’t ‘save’ more room than you need. 
• Meet and be friendly with your neighbors.
• Orient yourself early. Locate the closest porta-potties and concessions (if interested in purchasing food), as the park can fill in quickly.
• Most people bring large picnics for the day, though there are concessions offered. 
• Beer and wine is allowed to be brought to the event, and for obvious reasons there is no glass allowed. No hard alcohol is allowed, but this isn’t harshly enforced if you use discretion.
• A beacon or small flag will be helpful if you hope for friends or family to find you, or your Homebase, in the sizable crowds.
• Pace yourself if you do imbibe. These can be long days in the sun, and though you want to let the good times roll, be mindful of your intake for the safety of yourself and attendees. 
• Be mindful of others. There is no smoking allowed in the park, but let’s be honest, it’s not a rule obeyed by many. Do your best to not smoke cigarettes in the crowds and head somewhere in the fringes and throw your butts away into the trash.
• Time-slots are accurate, as the production is top-notch, so allow the needed time to travel between stages.
• It’s supposed to be a sunny, breezy weekend in the park like last year, so bring sunscreen, chapstick, a layer and wishes for as good of weather as we enjoyed last year.

• There will be increased amounts of 5-Fulton busses, but it can still be a cluster between 25th and 30th avenues. May be better served walking towards Geary to the 31 or 38 or towards Ocean Beach where the busses launch.
• If you are trying to grab a Lyft, Uber, Sidecar or private car, we suggest trying to meet them off of Fulton or Lincoln into the neighborhoods.
• If you truly have to leave the festival quickly in your car, one suggestion would be trying to park your car in the area the night before.
• Walk the park in the early evening back to the Haight or Divisadero with the elated masses.