What began as Warren Hellman’s bluegrass fantasy in 2001 as a wonderful gift to the city has now grown into one of the world’s largest and most anticipated festivals for concert goers and musicians alike. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 9, the FREE festival in Speedway, Marx and Lindley Meadows in Golden Gate Park, will take place on Friday, October 2 – Sunday, October 4. Starting in 2001 with 2 stages and 9 bands, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass quickly grew by leaps and bounds over the next few years. Soon 3 stages quickly turned into 5, and everyone from Willie Nelson to Ralph Stanley to Dolly Parton has graced them. As the talent continues to impress, so do the crowds. Last year's attendance estimates were a staggering 750,000+ over the three days. For the first year ever, we are pleased to announce that the festival will be expanding to include SIX stages.In addition to bringing back those who have been with us from day one (such as Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and Hazel Dickens) - we are excited to welcome new faces to this year's festival – Richie Havens, The Chieftains, Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Old 97’s, Marianne Faithfull, Amadou & Mariam and many more! For the fourth year now we will once again be kicking off the festival early with a special Friday afternoon performance. We encourage you to join us in the Park on Friday, October 2 for performances by John Prine, Lyle Lovett & His Large Band and a special performance to still be announced. It is with great pleasure that we announce the lineup for this year's festival.Doc Watson & David Holt, Boz Scaggs and the Blue Velvet Band, The Tim O’Brien Band, Rosie Flores with Jon Langford and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Jorma Kaukonen, Earl Scruggs, Gillian Welch, Reckless Kelly, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, The Del McCoury Band, Richie Havens, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle & the Bluegrass Dukes, Buddy Miller, Kimmie Rhodes, Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts present the Aboriginal Country & Western Songbook, Hazel Dickens, John Prine, Guy Clark & Verlon Thompson, The Chieftains, Robyn Hitchcock, Hayes Carll, Okkervil River, Old 97’s, Aimee Mann, Darrell Scott Band, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Neko Case, ODC/Dance, Mavis Staples, Billy Joe Shaver, The Duhks, Booker T. & the DBTs, Allen Toussaint, World Party, The Knitters, The Flatlanders featuring: Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock, Eliza Gilkyson, Dr. Dog, Marianne Faithfull, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women, Marshall Crenshaw, Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Nick Lowe, The Wronglers, Todd Snider, Red Wine, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, Kevin Welch & Kieran Kane & Fats Kaplin, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Robert Earl Keen, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue, Abalone Dots, Little Feat, The Barefoot Nellies, Dry Branch Fire Squad, MC Hammer, Marley’s Ghost with special guest Cowboy Jack Clement, The Claire Lynch Band, Elizabeth Cook, Pamela Rose with Wild Women (and other friends), Austin Lounge Lizards, The Brothers Comatose, Rodney Crowell, Malo, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Moonalice, Marty Stuart, Fireants, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Billy Bragg, Amadou & Mariam, Dr. Magpie, Natalie MacMaster, Great American Taxi, Songwriter Circle featuring Tom Morello, Dar Williams, Steve Earle & Allison Moorer. Starting in 2004, the festival expanded to include an early Friday morning program for local school children. This year's educational program on Friday, October 2 from 10:30 a.m. - noon will take place as part of the Daniel Pearl Foundation Music Days. Thousands of Bay Area middle school students will be entertained by MC Hammer and also the Fireants, featuring Austin’s Ian Stewart, who was awarded one of two prestigious Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins in 2008. These students will receive educational information about the importance of Daniel Pearl World Music Days. The eighth annual celebration, held October 1-31, invites musicians worldwide to participate in the global event and to use the power of Daniel's love of music to help spread a message of hope and unity. The Daniel Pearl Foundation was formed in 2002 in memory of journalist Daniel Pearl to promote the ideals that inspired his life and work. The world came to know Daniel Pearl as the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by terrorists in Karachi, Pakistan. Since then, he has been remembered more for his humanity and love of life than his senseless death. The Daniel Pearl Foundation works domestically and internationally to promote cross-cultural understanding, to combat cultural and religious hatred, to encourage responsible and creative journalism, and to enrich people’s lives through music. For more information please visit www.danielpearlmusicdays.orgHardly Strictly Bluegrass is free and no tickets are necessary. The festival runs from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on both Sat. Oct. 3 & Sun. Oct. 4. Complete festival information can be found at www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.
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