Warren Hellman tribute concert plans finalized
A memorial concert for the late San Francisco philanthropist Warren Hellman -- creator of the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival -- will take place Sunday (2/19), featuring Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and others.
Instead of Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow, traditional home of the festival and recently officially renamed in Hellman's honor, the tribute event will take place just outside the park, on the Great Highway, between JFK Drive and Lincoln Ave. The free concert will begin at 11 a.m. local time.
Aside from Harris and Earle, the event, which runs until 6 p.m., will also feature Gillian Welch, X frontman John Doe, Robert Earl Keen, Boz Scaggs and Hellman's bluegrass band, The Wronglers, with Jimmie Dale Gilmore sitting on in banjo. A complete list of performers can be found at Hardly Strictly's website.
Hellman, who died in December at age 77, created the free event in 2001 as a way for the native New Yorker to bring bluegrass music into his adopted city of San Francisco. The event, originally limited only to bluegrass, grew in scope and size; last year's festival drew an estimated 750,000 fans across three days, with hundreds of performers across a multitude of musical genres performing.
The festival was left with a sizable endowment by Hellman, a successful financier, and is set to to continue well into the future, according to his family.