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Hardly Strictly, film festivals and other fun events in San Francisco this weekend

Theresa Vitanza buys a headband from Alvaro Ramirez during Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at Golden Gate Park on Sept. 30, 2022. | Source: Brian Feulner for The Standard

We’re back with another eclectic lineup of events happening in San Francisco this weekend so you can add some oomph to your itinerary! Explore the hidden corners of Chinatown during a contemporary arts festival shining a spotlight on the neighborhood or indulge in devil’s food cake while watching The Devil Wears Prada at a Meryl Streep-themed movie marathon in one of San Francisco’s charming indie theaters. Read on to see how to enjoy the city’s favorite free music festival in Golden Gate Park and more. 

1. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park

🗓️ Friday-Sunday | 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (Friday), 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (Saturday-Sunday)
📍 Hellman Hollow, Lindley Meadow, Marx Meadow (Golden Gate Park)

One of San Francisco’s favorite free music festivals is back this weekend: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the three-day festival highlighting much more than bluegrass music, is expected to draw nearly a half million spectators to Golden Gate Park’s Hellman Hollow and Marx and Lindley meadows. Amid the lengthy lineup, you can catch sets from returning favorites like Steve Earle, the Dustbowl Revival and Carrie Rodriguez, as well as abundant first-time appearances by artists like Rufus Wainwright and the Heavy Heavy. Though Hardly Strictly is a perfect BYO picnic setting, there will be a general store, as well as five food vending areas, should you forget any necessities. Check out our guide to the festival here for tips and tricks to set yourself up for a successful weekend.

2. Merylthon in the Richmond

🗓️ Friday-Sunday | Various times
📍 4 Star Theater
🎟️ $29-$119

What started as a good pun and an idea for a themed movie night among friends has now evolved into a weekend-long film festival of sorts where you can laugh, cry and maybe even sing (Mamma Mia is on the program) along to eight iconic Meryl Streep films. The Merylthon has something for everyone, with drag performances inspired by the actor, a costume contest and a panel discussing Streep’s status as a queer icon. You can purchase an individual ticket to one of the weekend’s four double features or an all-encompassing ticket to the whole festival, with all proceeds going to the event’s nonprofit partner Queer LifeSpace–an organization that strives to bring affordable mental health services to the Bay Area’s LGBTQIA+ community. 

3. Proxy Fall Film Series Kickoff in Hayes Valley

🗓️ Friday | 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
📍 Proxy Walk-In Theater

PSA for film buffs on a budget: Free movies are returning to the Proxy outdoor theater in Hayes Valley for five weeks starting this Friday. Taking place in one of the neighborhood’s central community spaces, these weekly starlit movie nights are an accessible way to see a new–or maybe rewatch your favorite–movie and chat with your friends and neighbors. The films chosen for this year’s program examine a diverse range of topics, and Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness, a dark comedy commenting on class disparity and the relationship between power and beauty, is first up to kick off the series. 

READ MORE: Boom Loop: San Francisco’s Hayes Valley is Riding Arts to Recovery

4. Chuseok Festival in the Presidio

🗓️ Saturday | 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
📍 Presidio Main Parade Lawn

The jubilant Bay Area Chuseok Festival in the Presidio celebrates local Korean communities with traditional and fusion Korean food, games, art and activities. Chuseok, sometimes referred to as Korean Thanksgiving, is a Korean cultural celebration taking place from the 14th to the 16th day of the eighth month in the Lunar calendar in South Korea and on the 15th day in North Korea. It is a time to gather with loved ones, share food and stories and give thanks to ancestors for a plentiful harvest. You can also enjoy a variety of performances from a Korean cover band to a dance taekwondo (taekwonmu) act. 

5. Under the Same Sun in Chinatown

🗓️ Saturday | 5-10 p.m.
📍Edge on the Square
🔗“Under the Same Sun: Reimagining the Edges of Chinatown” is a contemporary arts festival that highlights San Francisco’s radiant Chinatown neighborhood and resilience amid adversity that is as unwavering as the sun. Over 20 AAPI and BIPOC artists will present multimedia pieces, installations, activations and performances reflecting on individual and collective freedoms, identities and civil liberties. Host of the festival Edge on the Square aims to illuminate the hidden corners of Chinatown. It will activate spaces around the neighborhood scavenger-hunt-style to encourage attendants to explore their surroundings, and there will also be interactive exhibitions, DJs and food.