One of the few silver linings of the current situation is that you get to go to festivals you wouldn’t normally be able to attend, albeit virtually, and in that spirit San Fransisco’s Bay Area’s beloved Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is launching its new global and community-driven initiative Let the Music Play On to bring the spirit of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to backyards and living rooms all over the world with a global broadcast taking place the weekend of October 2nd. And what a broadcast – the artists announced so far includes Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Steve Earle & the Halfgrass Dukes (feat. Tim O’Brien and Dennis Crouch), The War and Treaty, Amythyst Kiah, Chuck Prophet, Patty Griffin, Birds of Chicago, Los Coast, Shakey Graves, Alison Brown, John Doe, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Yola and Sierra Ferrell.
The October broadcast will feature new performances from the expansive range of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass artists that include first-time performers to legends of American Roots music, along with archival footage from the festival’s past two decades and memories from fans, performers, and staff and priceless gems from the festival’s rich history. Fans are being encouraged to send their favourite memories via stories, videos, and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. All contributions are “welcome and appreciated” say the organisers, and will be considered for the broadcast in October.
“While we know we can’t replace the feeling of being together physically, the safety of our attendees, artists, volunteers, and staff are our highest priority and our team has been hard at work creating a vibrant broadcast in line with what attendees have come to expect from HSB: community, discovery, and the all-time best in roots music, ” says festival advisor Mick Hellman. “We’re excited to share parts of HSB that aren’t feasible in a festival environment such as screening archival footage, sharing memories, and shining a spotlight on our non-profit partners.”
This year the festival has launched Hardly Strictly Music Relief Fund: Bay Area, a $1.5M charitable initiative to support the local music community during the COVID-19 pandemic living in and around San Francisco. You can stay up to date with the broadcast and line-up over the next couple of weeks over at their official website here.
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