Is there a festival anywhere that has mastered the art of the lineup teaser better than Hardly Strictly Bluegrass? Unlike gender reveals that set a national forest ablaze to let everyone know that It’s a Boy, Golden Gate Park’s long-running jam coyly dribbles out the info with periodic additions to the playlist on its official app.
This morning, Hardly Strictly dropped another 10 performers, including MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rhiannon Giddens (with Francesco Turrisi), soul powerhouse Danielle Ponder, “Southern Gothic” banjo player Amethyst Kiah, folk newcomers Bonny Light Horsemen, L.A.-based bedroom-pop singer-songwriter Jay Som, and indie darling Waxahatchee (a.k.a. Katie Crutchfield, who typically eschews festivals but who’s been relentlessly touring all year).
The incomparable banjoist Béla Fleck is booked to play the entirety of his 1988 masterpiece My Bluegrass Heart, and Northern California folk trio Rainbow Girls is also on the bill. (No, not those Rainbow Girls.)
Rounding out this latest segment of the lineup are orchestral-pop NPR darling Aoife O’Donovan and Ismay, whose longstanding creative partnership with singer-songwriter Avery Hellman—descendant of the late festival founder Warren Hellman—means they were practically birthed on-site.
Additionally, the festival announced its “Out of the Park” lineup of supplemental shows, solidifying the latest trend in festival culture that sees the top acts booked at local venues before and after their official sets.
Fans can expect Marcus Mumford and Danielle Ponder at the Fillmore on Oct. 1, Bonny Light Horseman at the Palace of Fine Arts on Oct. 2, Moonalice with a Summer of Soul screening at the Chapel on Oct. 4, and several others. It’s always nice to have another shot at seeing folks like the Grammy-nomiated Aoife O’Donovan, but live music venues were hurting bad these past few years, so this is a branding synergy we can all get behind even if they’re not free.
The next Hardly Strictly medley will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 6, less than a month before thousands of chill, amiable music lovers install themselves in Hellman Hollow and Marx Meadow for three days (Sept. 30-Oct. 2). If you don’t already have a clear backpack, better get on it soon because Outside Lands attendees cleared out virtually every Target in the Bay Area.
Peter-Astrid Kane can be reached at [email protected]