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Hardly Strictly’s Warren Hellman To Be Celebrated With SF Concert

03:01 PM Friday 2/17/12 | |

The life of Warren Hellman, the San Francisco philanthropist, bluegrass aficionado and founder of the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, will be celebrated with a concert Sunday along the city’s Ocean Beach from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Hellman died unexpectedly of complications of treatment for leukemia Dec. 18.

Resembling a scaled-down version of the popular festival, performers include many of Hellman’s favorite artists including Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Buddy Miller, Boz Scaggs, Robert Earl Keen, John Doe, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dry Branch Fire Squad, the trio of Kevin Welch, Kieran Kane and Fats Kaplin, and Poor Man's Whiskey.

And no commemoration of Hellman would be complete without his band, The Wronglers with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, or HSB perennial closer Emmylou Harris and a special guest – The Go To Hell Man Clan, comprised of musical Hellman family members who performed at the patriarch’s memorial service in December.

The Go To Hell Man Clan takes its name from a sign saying “Go To Hell Man” spotted by Hellman at a protest against his ill-fated proposal to admit men to Mills College in Oakland, Calif., when he was a trustee of the women’s college.

  • Emmylou Harris

    Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Speedway Meadow, San Francisco, Calif.
    October 2, 2011

    (Larry Hulst)

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Originally envisioned to take place in Golden Gate Park’s newly minted Hellman Hollow, organizers decided the combination of thousands of pairs of feet and potentially rainy weather was not a good combination for the park grounds, and moved the bash to the parking lots of nearby Ocean Beach. To keep the crowd manageable, the daylong concert will be webcast live at StrictlyBluegrass.com and “at-home watching parties” are encouraged.

Free street parking is limited, and concert-goers are highly encouraged to take public transportation to the show, located near Hwy. 1 – known locally as the Great Highway – and between John F. Kennedy Drive and Lincoln Avenue on the park’s beachside edge. Paid parking will be provided at nearby Presidio Middle School and Francis Scott Key Elementary School.

Valet and self bike parking will also be available, as well as food and beverage concessions and merchandise booths.

  • The Wronglers

    Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Calif.
    October 2, 2010

    (John Davisson)

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While he made his name as the youngest partner in the history of Lehman Brothers and founder of Hellman & Friedman, a high-powered investment firm with a portfolio that included Nasdaq, Levi’s and other marquee companies, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass will no doubt be his enduring legacy among San Franciscans.


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