Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, or HSB for short (previously Strictly Bluegrass) is an annual free and non-commercial music festival held the first weekend of October in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Conceived and subsidized by San Francisco venture capitalist Warren Hellman, the festival has been held every year since the first event in 2001.
From its outset, the festival has been subsidized by Hellman. Various corporations have offered to sponsor the event over the years, but Hellman always turned them down, saying in an interview, "I want to keep it entirely free and noncommercial". For some performers, the unique fact that the event is unsponsored is very important to character. In an interview with Hellman, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show said that part of what keeps the event focused on the music and the community is Warren's decision to ensure it is not "consumption driven" and the audience is not "bombarded with signage".
Originally Hellman intended only to invite bluegrass musicians. But soon artists from other genres were invited to the event, and in 2004 the word "Hardly" was added to reflect its expanded scope. The festival draws very large crowds, nearly equal in number to the entire population of San Francisco. In 2011, the festival drew an estimated 750,000 people over the course of the three-day event.
Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He wrote and recorded the hit songs "Me and Bobby McGee," "For the Good Times," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Kristofferson composed his own songs and collaborated with Nashville songwriters such as Shel Silverstein. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is also known for his starring roles in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and A Star Is Born, the latter for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.