SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN) — The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival on Friday kicked off a virtual version of the fest for the second year in a row, streaming live and recorded performances.
The festival — themed “Come What May” — started the first of three days of performances at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon with a set from bluegrass quartet Hawktail. The three days of music performances will include appearances from past HSB regulars including post-punk great Bob Mould (who happens to be playing an in-person headlining show at August Hall Friday night), alt-folk favorite Ani Di Franco, gospel-soul great Mavis Staples and perennial headliners Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris.
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When the pandemic forced the festival online last year, the organizers recorded a three-hour broadcast titled “Let the Music Play On” hosted by San Francisco songwriter Chuck Prophet that garnered over a million views and $500,000 in donations for Artist Relief, an initiative offering emergency grants to artists during the pandemic.
The broadcast later spurred a web series titled “Let the Music Play On & On” that released 15 episodes between November 2020 and June 2021.READ MORE: Amid the Capitol Riot, Facebook Faced Its Own Insurrection
The first day of this year’s virtual festival also coincides with the launch of HSB TV for Roku and Apple TV users. Once the app is download and users set up a free account, they will be able to enjoy full length episodes of “Come What May,” filmed in New Orleans and San Francisco in the spring of 2021 with six artists and their collaborators from both cities. Additionally, over 20 hours of content included 2020’s critically acclaimed “Let The Music Play On” will be available.US Rowing Accepts Resignation of Longtime Men's Coach Mike Teti
Prior to the pandemic, the annual event held at Golden Gate Park typically drew upwards of 750,000 attendees each year.