Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2012

And it starts! Caltrain. See that ghost in the door? Just noticed that one! 

Packed train, everyone was trying to get to the city. 

Almost got side tracked...3 story Forever21!

Found the bus.

Jimmie Dale!

First show of the day! The Wronglers! Notice how empty it is right now.

The Wronglers

Jimmie Dale Gilmore front and center with The Wronglers.

Tribute to Warren Hellman and other folk greats.

Escaping the sun.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2012 went a little something like this:
Friday Night- Ohhhhh man it is taking forever to be Saturday. Can't sleep! Must sleep! (It was like Christmas eve for me man!)
Saturday Morning 7:00 am- Alarm went off, "YES! IT'S TIME!" (I didn't literally scream that, just in my head. I have roommates after all). 
8:30 am: Headed to Caltrain. There were about 5 major events happening in the city that weekend, no way was I driving! 
9:50 ish am: In SF! Now which bus to take...? I swear I used to know my way around the city so much better, but a year of being away and all I remembered was Golden Gate Park isn't towards Fishermen's Warf, don't go that way. 
10:15 am: On the packed bus with other Hardly Strictly participants. Chatted about which bands we wanted to see, last year's festival, and how to get to which stages. 
11:00 am: Off the bus, made it! Could run... but shouldn't. Now where is Rooster Stage. (They had the best names for all the stages: Banjo, Rooster, Arrow, Towers, Star, and Porch.) I made it just in time to see the band I wanted to see, The Wronglers.
*Side story* Last year I interned with the SF Chronicle, as a photographer, and one of my very first assignments was to tag along on an interview where I got to meet Warren Hellman, who is the man who started HSB, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Warren Hellman and Jimmie Dale started up their own folk group called "The Wronglers." Jimmie Dale Gilmore, for any Big Lebowski fans out there, played Smokey in the movie. My dad and I are huge fans of the movie and when I met him I swore his voice sounded so familiar but I could not place it. Later I went home and did a little research and discovered that awesome piece of information and was bummed I didn't know sooner, so I could tell him that I was a huge fan!
Anyways, after the interview me and a staff photographer got to go back and take photos of the whole group practicing. Thank goodness that other photographer was there, because I was too busy smiling and soaking in all the glorious music that was filling the room to take any photos! (Although I have some and I can't find them anywhere! But when I do I will add them to this post!) And after that I became a fan! So naturally I raced over to the stage, where they were playing, and made it just in time. It was a somber event for the Wronglers this year, and everyone at the festival really,Warren Hellman recently passed away and this was their first HSB without him. They did a great set in honor of Warren and I was so glad to have heard it.  

The Wronglers album cover
12:00 pm: I walked over to the Banjo Stage and planted myself there for awhile, people watched like crazy, and listened to some fiddles and banjos being played. Fiddles and banjos everywhere! A dream come true! 
1:00 pm: After the previous set I decided to grab some lunch and when I returned quickly realized that the walk way up to the front of the stage was gone. The later it got the more packed it became. 
3:00 pm: After enjoying the sun by the Banjo Stage I noticed that the music was getting harder and harder to hear and so I needed to move up, which was easier said than done. Luckily it was just me and planted myself in a small spot closer to the stage and listened to Emmy Lou Harris (and Jimme Dale made a 2nd appearance during this set!) and some other great performers! 
4:30 pm: After that set I looked around me and realized that it had gotten even more packed at the park and that it was probably a good time to leave. It was great getting there early, nice light, small crowds, really into it fans, but by the afternoon all of those things sort of dwindled away. 

So all in all it was a successful festival. The only bummer was that I didn't have anyone to come with me and Caltrain turned out to be more than I expected so I couldn't go back on Sunday. But next year I'll be rich and I'll go all 3 days! ;-)


  1. Great pictures love this style of taking pics :)

    Cool filter too :)



  2. Damn that escaping the sun photo is spectacular!

  3. great pictures :) really like this tone of them :)

  4. the photos look amazing! :) love the chronomatic effect
    I"ve never been to a festival before, i really need to do that some time

    1. aw thank you! Yes!! you have too! You will enjoy yourself! I love festivals, I wish they were all free!