We can still have nice things. But post-Gilroy and with active shooters now the every-weekend norm, we’ll be waiting in line to get into the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival this year — with gates surrounding the perimeter of the event and security going through your stuff to weed out banned items.
You are returning to work after a weekend, which means you are seeing mass shooting headlines from somewhere in America. In light of this grisly new reality, San Francisco's beloved annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival (Oct. 4-6) is tightening up its famously loose security policies. The Chronicle reports that coolers will be banned at this year’s festival, and like many events, Hardly Strictly will adopt a “clear bag policy.”
The new set of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass security measures include the aforementioned cooler ban and requirement that bags be clear, with some detailed guidance on what you can and can’t bring. The festival area will be gated off like Outside Lands, and you’ll have to go through security to get in. That surely means long lines — plus the gates will not open ‘til 9 a.m., so you can not stake out your blanket space any earlier than that.
“As the world changes, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass feels the need to respond, prioritizing safety over convenience,” organizers said in a statement. “We understand that these changes will make our event differ from years past, but are hopeful that our long-time fans will embrace these new rules and enjoy the performances as they always have.”
The HSB fencing area will prevent you from entering via Golden Gate Park forest paths, and there will be only four entrance-exit gates. So do expect to wait in line this year. Rest assured that dogs are still welcome despite the onslaught of new security policies.
And to answer your main question, alcohol is still allowed at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. “No alcohol will be for sale in the park,” according to the event FAQs, “however, alcohol is allowed as per park rules: no hard alcohol or glass is allowed; beer and wine in non-glass containers ONLY.”
As we noted last month, this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival features Robert Plant, the Meat Puppets, Kurt Vile & the Violators, and as every year, Emmylou Harris to put the cat to sleep Sunday night.
Image: Piyush K via Flickr