Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2012 Schedule: Get The Most Out Of Your Festival Experience

10/04/2012 02:37 pm ET | Updated Oct 04, 2012

The key to any voyage into the twangy depths of this weekend's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is planning.

San Francisco's annual free celebration of bluegrass (and also not bluegrass) in Golden Gate Park, now in its 12th consecutive year, has gotten so popular that shuttling between stages to see all of your favorite bands can prove virtually impossible. Instead, the best idea is often just to get there early, pick a spot near the stage you're most interested in and stay there for the long haul.


While the lineup was announced months ago, the actual full schedule, complete with set times, was only released recently. Essential planning's gotta all be done RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND.

Our top recommendations are Ben Kweller, Buddy Miller, Robert Earl Keen, The Dirty Three, the Heartless Bastards, Son Volt and Les Claypool's Duo De Twang. If you're curious as to why this is exciting, check out this video and skip to about 3:30. Mirv is the guy playing the distorted singing saw.

Also of note is Saturday afternoon's "Tribute to the Founding Fathers," where an all-star band of Hardly Strictly regulars honors billionaire financier Warren Hellman, who paid for the festival out of his own pocket since its inception and passed away last year.

Check out some of our favorite picks from the weekend and get excited by listening to our playlist. Then, see the full schedule below:

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2012


Star Stage

10:00am Poor Man's Whiskey and Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Banjo Stage

2:00pm John Reilly & Friends
1:15pm Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
2:40pm The Jerry Douglas Band
4:15pm The Time Jumpers
5:45pm Elvis Costello Solo

Arrow Stage

12:00pm Chuck Ragan
1:00pm Pickwick
2:10pm Chris Carrabba
3:20pm Patterson Hood & the Downtown Rumblers
4:45pm Jon Langford & His Sadies
6:15pm Reignwölf

Rooster Stage

12:00pm Simone Felice
1:00pm Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express
2:20pm Beachwood Sparks
3:25pm Ben Kweller
4:25pm Jenny Lewis
5:45pm Conor Oberst


Banjo Stage

11:00am World Famous Headliners
12:10pm Alison Brown Quartet
1:25pm Buddy Miller
2:45pm Tribute to the Founding Fathers
4:25pm The Chieftains
5:45pm Steve Earle & the Dukes (& Duchesses)

Rooster Stage

11:00am The Go to Hell Man Clan
12:00pm Lloyd Cole
1:10pm Guy Clark & Verlon Thompson
2:30pm The Lumineers
3:50pm Patty Griffin
5:30pm Robert Earl Keen

Star Stage

11:00am Roger Knox & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts
12:30pm Dirty Three
2:10pm Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones
3:45pm Cowboy Junkies
5:45pm Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Towers of Gold Stage

11:40am Red Baraat
1:20pm Justin Townes Earle
3:00pm Les Claypool's Duo De Twang
4:45pm The Head & the Heart

Arrow Stage

11:00am The Trishas
12:05pm Reckless Kelly
1:30pm Bill Kirchen and Texicalli
2:45pm Heartless Bastards
4:05pm Jerry Jeff Walker
5:35pm The Flatlanders feat. Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock

Porch Stage

11:00am Joe Pug
12:10pm Sara Watkins
1:25pm Little Green Cars
2:40pm Allison Moorer
3:50pm Robyn Hitchcock
4:50pm Sierra Hull
6:05pm Seasick Steve


Banjo Stage

11:00am Dry Branch Fire Squad
12:05pm Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
1:20pm Peter Rowan
2:45pm Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
4:15pm O'Brien Party of 7
5:45pm Emmylou Harris

Rooster Stage

11:00am Jim Lauderdale
12:05pm Kevin Welch & Kieran Kane & Fats Kaplin
1:10pm Black Prairie
2:20pm Glen Hansard
3:35pm Nick Lowe
4:50pm Todd Snider
6:10pm The Civil Wars

Star Stage

11:00am Giant Giant Sand
12:40pm The Knitters
2:15pm Doug Sahm's Phantom Playboys
4:05pm The Del McCoury Band
6:00pm Keller Williams, Steve Kimock & Kyle Hollingsworth ft. Bernie Worrell, Wally Ingram & Andy Hess

Towers Of Gold

12:00pm The Milk Carton Kids
1:30pm Soul Rebels
3:10pm Dwight Yoakam
5:00pm Patti Smith

Arrow Stage

11:00am Lucero
12:05pm Moonalice
1:25pm Rubblebucket
2:45pm Son Volt
4:10pm Luther Dickinson & the Wandering
5:45pm ALO

Porch Stage

11:00am The New Orleans Bingo! Show
12:10pm Tiny Television
1:25pm The Barr Brothers
2:40pm Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys
3:55pm The White Buffalo
5:10pm Walter Salas-Humara
6:20pm Jonny Two Bags & Salvation Town

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