Categories: Bay Area Crime

Hardly Strictly festival goes off without a hitch

There were hardly any reasons for strict policing during last weekend’s heavily attended bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park, where not a single major criminal incident was reported among the hundreds of thousands of attendees.

Data on official attendance numbers and police activity at the three-day Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival were being compiled Monday, Officer Albie Esparza said. However, of the two dozen crimes over the weekend that appeared on the Police Department’s recap — a daily listing of major crimes such as shootings, robberies, burglaries and assaults — not one happened near the six stages along John F. Kennedy Jr. Drive.

That is not a surprise, as the 13-year-old festival has a reputation of offering a safe environment for people of all ages.

“It’s a family atmosphere, a family event,” Esparza said.

This year, like every year, neighbors living and working near the park asked why other major events there are not more like Hardly Strictly. They often point to the Bay to Breakers footrace or Outside Lands, another three-day music festival that hosts far fewer fans at 65,000 per day.

In the past, the bluegrass festival’s attendance over the three days has exceeded San Francisco’s entire population, according to city officials. And the sunny skies at this year’s event might have drawn a record number of fans, according to reports.

The reasons why the bluegrass festival was low-key again this year remain the same: No alcohol was sold at the event, and the type of music that was being performed doesn’t often encourage rowdy behavior.

“Generally, crowds for Hardly Strictly are so much more mellow [than Outside Lands],” said Chris Ng of the Richmond District Neighborhood Center. “I think it’s a combination of the type of music, and that it’s a free event and during the daytime.”

SF Examiner

Recent Posts

Paradise High School football brought to tears by San Francisco 49ers invitation to Monday Night Football

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — On nearly a three-and-a-half hour bus ride en route to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, students…

1 hour ago

SF to spend $4M to rebuild ‘burned to the ground’ Golden Gate Park clubhouse

After a popular Golden Gate Park clubhouse was burned down, San Francisco plans to rebuild it for $4 million. Under…

2 hours ago

Jordan Ratinho rains threes as USF Dons basketball easily dispatches Sonoma State

When Charles Minlend went down last June with a torn right labrum in his shoulder, University of San Francisco head…

3 hours ago

Death toll in Butte County fire at 42, making it worst in state history

The death toll from the Camp fire in the Northern California town of Paradise jumped to 42 Monday, making the…

5 hours ago

Central Coast Section football playoff games rescheduled for a third time due to fires, air quality

The Sacred Heart Cathedral football team's bus was just 20 minutes away from arriving in Morgan Hill on Monday afternoon…

6 hours ago

Stan Lee’s super hero legacy

LOS ANGELES _ When he got his start in the 1940s, Stan Lee was embarrassed by his profession. "I would…

7 hours ago