Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival returns virtually this weekend

The 21st Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival -- the popular three-day San Francisco festival celebrating bluegrass music -- is making a virtual comeback this weekend.

The free annual festival took on a different form last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring only some online performances in addition to archival footage and interviews.

This year's online lineup features 27 performances, including performances by Ani DiFranco, Emmylou Harris, and Andy Shauf.

The free festival began Friday and goes through Sunday, happening each day from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The festival will be live-streamed from a Bay Area location and can be watched at www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com, www.facebook.com/hardlystrictlybluegrass and www.youtube.com/user/hsbfest.

In addition to live performances, the online festival will also feature pre-recorded performances filmed earlier this year in San Francisco and New Orleans.

Last year's online performance garnered more than a million views, organizers said.

Prior to the pandemic, the event, held at Golden Gate Park, typically drew some 750,000 concertgoers each year.

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