It seems like just yesterday that hundreds of thousands of music lovers stormed Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands — and now it's time to do it all over again for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, taking place Oct. 6-8. As its name suggests, Hardly Strictly once featured exclusively bluegrass, but in recent years the free festival has diversified its roster to include hip-hop, classic rock, Afrobeat, and a slew of other genres.
Festival mainstays like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, Hot Tuna and Conner Oberst are back on the lineup, but there are also plenty of surprises. See Hardly Strictly's full lineup — over 100 acts — here, and read more for five unexpected acts not to miss at its 17th edition.
Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett
Kurt Vile, former guitarist for The War on Drugs-turned-solo songwriter, is a long-haired rocker whose reverb-laden chillwave tunes conjure images of skipping class to smoke cigarettes at the skatepark. He recently teamed up with Courtney Barnett, an Australian singer-songwriter who makes high-energy garage rock, for a forthcoming collaborative album called Lotta Sea Lice. Together, they've developed a twangy, country-rock sound that still contains the same disaffected swagger of their solo work.