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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass announces set times and stage line-ups for 2023 edition

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on Tuesday announced the set times and line-up for each stage during the beloved free three-day music festival.

The festival takes place from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. This will be the 21st edition of the full in-person festival in Golden Gate Park.

After releasing the final round of artists playing last week, organizers on Tuesday announced the full schedule for the festival with stage line-ups and set times. As with past years, the Friday line-up kicks off at 1 p.m. and features performers on four stages: the new smaller Horseshoe Hill Stage, the main Banjo Stage in Hellman Hollow and the back-to-back Swan Stage and Towers of Gold Stage at the western end of Lindley Meadow. The latter two stages will be livestreamed throughout the weekend. 

On Saturday and Sunday, the entertainment begins at 11 a.m. with three more performance areas presenting artists -- the Rooster Stage, the Arrow Stage and the nearby Bandwagon Stage (it appears the small Porch Stage that welcomed attendees as they entered at the eastern end of the festival is no more). As always, there are some difficult choices presented by the schedule -- Saturday's Banjo Stage appearance by beloved songwriter Rickie Lee Jones at the same time as the live debut of Dave Alvin's new project the Third Mind on the Swan Stage, for instance -- the wealth of talent being presented means there really are no bad decisions for attendees.

The multi-stage dayslong festival has expanded from its beginning as a local single-day event when it was founded by investment banker and philanthropist Warren Hellman over two decades ago. Hellman intended for the annual event, which is free to the public, to be a gift to San Francisco, celebrating American music.

Except for when it was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic for two years, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has been held annually in Golden Gate Park. Food and non-alcoholic beverage vendors will be stationed around the park and patrons will be allowed to bring alcohol within festival grounds as long as it's not in glass containers.

While admission is free, attendees will be subject to security screening at the four entry points for the festival at JFK Drive and Transverse Drive, Fulton Street and 30th Avenue, JFK Drive and 36th Avenue and the South Polo Field.

More information can be found at

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