Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival continues without founder

decicco column sig

By
From page B1 | October 05, 2012 |

The 12th installment of the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival kicks off today in Golden Gate Park, marking the first edition without the event’s founder, Warren Hellman.

Hellman died in December 2011 at 77 due to complications from leukemia.

Just two months before his final days, he played at the festival’s 11th volume, plucking his banjo with his group, The Wronglers.

As many as 225,000 people were estimated to attend each day of the 2011 festival, putting Hardly Strictly high in the running for the nation’s largest outdoor music event.

However, the festival had quaint beginnings. It began as a two-stage, single-afternoon event in Golden Gate Park’s Speedway Meadow in 2001 and included some of Hellman’s favorites, such as Emmylou Harris and the late Hazel Dickens.

And widen it has. The word “hardly” was tacked onto the front in 2004 to reflect the event’s widening scope. Now a three-day gala, Hardly Strictly boasts six stages and a roster of artists from a variety of genres.

True to the wishes of the co-founder of a private-equity firm, the show will go on thanks to his largesse and an endowment he created to fund it for no less than a further 15 years. Hellman remained mum on the event’s price tag.

He was a venture capitalist who founded Hellman & Friedman, as well as what is known today as Matrix Partners, an investment firm.

In 1985, Hellman & Friedman helped take jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. private, a deal that netted a cool $1.6 billion. In 2001, the firm bought a 15 percent ownership stake in the Nasdaq stock market, which the firm grew before selling it for a profit in 2007.

Matrix Partners, meanwhile, helped start up SanDisk as well as a tiny Silicon Valley fruit company you may have heard of, which, apparently, does not actually deal in produce, named Apple.

In his 60s, Hellman launched the festival, later learning banjo and performing with The Wronglers. During the festival, he was known to hop on a golf cart and dart between stages to see as many acts as possible.

In tribute to Hellman, earlier this year, San Francisco city officials renamed Speedway Meadow, where the festival’s first edition took place, to Hellman’s Hollow.

It’s an appropriate tribute to a man who didn’t just bring the festival to the city, but was involved in other political and philanthropic efforts in the city.

Another tribute takes place at the former rehearsal studio of blue-eyed soul singer and San Francisco music icon Boz Scaggs at 1479A Folsom St. in San Francisco. It has turned into a museum to Hellman and is open to the public through Wednesday.

The festival’s 2012 installment features mainstays such as Harris, Buddy Miller, Steve Earle and Elvis Costello, but also newer artists such as The Lumineers, The Civil Wars and Swell Season’s Glen Hansard in a lineup that includes more than 70 artists.

In addition to remembering its founder, this year’s Hardly Strictly also pays tribute to one of its regular performers, banjo legend Earl Scruggs, who died of natural causes in March, and Doc Watson, a bluegrass luminary who died in May at 89 after complications from surgery.

As it was the first 11 times, the festival is free and open to the public. It comes in the midst of a frightfully busy weekend for the city of San Francisco, including the America’s Cup finale, a Columbus Day parade, the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Week, the annual Castro Street Fair, a 49ers regular season home game and a Giants playoff game.

Festival organizers are encouraging the use of public transportation due to San Francisco feeling like a city of 400,000 people and 4,000 parking spaces, but even BART and MUNI are sure to be packed, too.

For more information, visit www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.

To read more of Nick DeCicco’s blogs, visit http://dailyrepublic.typepad.com/forthoseabouttorock. Follow him on Twitter @ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Lights out for proposed electronic sign in Vacaville

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Poll: High approval for Gov. Jerry Brown, support for budget

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

 
Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9