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How Did Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Begin? Late Founder Tells How

Shortly before he died last year, financier/philanthropist Warren Hellman talked to the Oral History project at UC Berkeley, which released this video Friday of him describing the origin of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, now playing in SF.

Coinciding with the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival this weekend, the Regional Oral History Office at UC Berkeley has released a new video of the late festival founder, Warren Hellman, talking about how it got started.

Now in its 12th year, the free festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco attracted an estimated 750,000 people last year.

Hellman, a venture capitalist, philanthropist and lover of country music, died last December at age 77. 

The interview was posted Friday by the Oral History project, part of Cal's Bancroft Library.

“The interview we posted today is fascinating and funny,” Lisa Rubens, who conducted 24 hours worth of interviews with Hellman last year about his life said in a statement. “Hellman had a low-key delivery style and peppered many of his answers or comments with jokes or lyrics that he recited or sang.”

Hellman was a Cal alum and major donor to the university. In 2003, he was named Alumnus of the Year by the California Alumni Association.

Jack October 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Wonderful concept, wonderful music, wonderful place, too big. Why not (only) 20 bands instead of (seemingly) 200? I was saddened to see our beautiful park trampled by so many hundreds of thousands of boots and shoes.
John October 07, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Wow, it's amazing that anyone could complain about HSB, which is as green as can be, and one of the most joyous places to be on the planet. Count your blessings Jack.

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