hardly, strictly

every october, there is a huuuuuuge, twangy but august, sensational (thanks to the copious music and weed), and absolutely free bluegrass festival in golden gate park. it. is. rad. how could it not be with a name like hardly strictly bluegrass??


the first saturday in october, i rode my bike (!!! more on that later) to the park after general conference (!!!! i love it almost as much as christmas) and met up with kelsey, a genuine bluegrass aficionado. the place was packed with people, young and old, frumpy and fabulous, sweet and sour, high and tipsy…lots of hippies. the atmosphere was unparalleled in its unique, gritty brand of goodness and energy. everything felt organic, including an inner contentment in my beating heart.


we got to see patty griffin, one of my all-time favourite artists perform up-close and live. she was fantastic; i could have sat there listening to her sing forever. everyone was just really truly enjoying the sweetness of harmonies and cadences and expression.


the weather was gorgeous and the sky was outrageously blue. and of course there were some wierdies wandering around. i love them.


we saw gillian welch, who has become one of my new music loves, and her adorable guitarist (i have a major crush) perform. we elbowed our way to the front and asked if we could sit on some people’s tarp. at the end she sang “i’ll fly away” and the whole crowd sang along with her, bathed in sunshine. it felt somehow so freeing crooning with everyone else, and when we stood up and turned around at the end we realized “everyone else” was tens of thousands stretched at least a quarter of a mile back. the sea of humans was just incredible. i love crowds, and this was one of the best.
{check out the sweet grandma in the foreground of the pic on the right – really there were all kinds of people there!}


even outside the official venue space there were performers along the park roads plucking and belting it out. it’s like there was this little bubble of hippieish, ruddy electricity over golden gate park that day. i rode my bike through the park to the beach, singing “i’ll fly away” out loud as the sun went to sleep and left us with a spectacular goodnight. i turned one corner at the end of the park at was hit in the face with the smell of the sea and it was intoxicating. as i cruised along the great highway, i squealed with delight at the sunset and the light and the colors and the perfect-happy tingling in my fingers and toes. it was one of those moments {the i’m-not-sure-i-could-be-one-ounce-happier kind}. i biked past joggers and hollered, “it’s gorgeous, no?!?” and they chuckled.

now, recalling that slice of euphoria, i remember those moments will always come to carry me through and keep me feeling like life is freaking awesome. hardly, strictly awesome.


  1. What fun! Wish I'd been there to see all this amazing ness!
    I love bluegrass!

  2. PATTY G! I want to come to this next year. I'll come out for it. Let's plan! Have fun with our lil Lady D this weekend.