Isbell plays Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest
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Isbell plays Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass will host Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at the fest held at Golden Gate Park from Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Now in its 23rd year, the free music festival will present an eclectic bill also including Leyla McCalla, The Church, John Doe Folk Trio, Valerie June, Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram, John Craigie, Neal Francis, Bahamas and Gaby Moreno.

The past two decades have seen Hardly Strictly Bluegrass grow from a one-day local attraction to a three-day festival that attracts more than half a million people each year. The event boasts more than 70 artists spanning roots and Americana, funk, rock, soul and more.

Founded by Warren Hellman in 2001, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass marked the late financier/philanthropist's gift to the City of San Francisco, offering a free outdoor festival in the Golden Gate Park to serve as an annual celebration of American music. Honoring the legacy of Warren and Chris Hellman, their four children, who are the directors of the Hellman Foundation, oversee Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

After going digital during the pandemic, HSB returned to live performances in 2022.

Isbell's return to Hardly Strictly is another homecoming of sorts. His last performance in the park was in 2014. "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is as good as a music festival gets, in my opinion. The location, the weather, the lack of corporate signage, the opportunity for beautiful and unique musical moments to happen. I love it all. This is one festival I always get excited about," said Isbell.

More artists will be announced Aug. 8 and Sept. 5. The focus on streaming during 2020 and 2021 broadened Hardly Strictly Bluegrass's reach to an international audience, showcasing its one-of-a-kind musical message while providing a miraculous gift to millions of fans around the world. A wide range of original content – including exclusive HSB 2022 sets – can be viewed now via Hardly Strictly Bluegrass TV (HSB TV), available for free to viewers around the globe HERE. Tune in August 8th, 22nd and September 5th to enjoy new medleys, each of which will showcase additional artists performing at HSB 2023.


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