SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The organizers of the popular annual free music festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on Wednesday announced the first participants in the planned virtual music fest Let the Music Play On.

Initial acts announced include banjo virtuoso and songwriter Alison Brown, Los Angeles roots-punk legend, Bay Area resident and X co-founder John Doe, indie-folk rocker Aaron Lee Tasjan, British folk singer Yola and first-time performer Sierra Ferrell.

Festival organizers announced late in July that this year’s edition of Hardly Strictly in Golden Gate Park would be canceled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online event Let the Music Play On aims to make Hardly Strictly Bluegrass a global celebration that will feature a live stream of new performances by the above artists and others in addition to archival sets from past festivals.

According to the press release announcing the first artists for Let the Music Play On, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass sent it’s production team across the U.S. to film new performances and interviews with artists at historic venues including Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and landmark venue the Continental Club in Austin, Texas.

“There is a great sense of community at Hardly Strictly, and I hope and pray that it’s back next year. It’s a one-of-a-kind,” said John Doe.

The virtual version of the festival will take place on the first weekend of October when Hardly Strictly Bluegrass traditionally happens. More information on Let the Music Play On is available at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass website.

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