The San Francisco-based music festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has announced a new music relief fund open grant for musicians who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This relief will provide up to $2,000 in unrestricted funds for musicians currently living full-time in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, or Sonoma Counties.
Applications will be accepted here from now until September 14 5 at p.m. PST. Those who have been awarded aid from this effort will be notified by September 25 and will have immediate disbursement of funds. A total of $450,000 from this $1.5 million charitable effort will be used for individual musicians’ relief, with additional support for local music venues and their workers.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was launched in 2001 as an entirely free and non-commercial music event created by founder Warren Hellman. Hellman was a prominent Bay Area private equity investor, who was also a founder of the Hellman & Friedman multibillion-dollar private equity firm. While the event is intended to cater to mainly bluegrass artists, other musicians such as Justin Townes Earle, Conor Oberst and Nick Lowe have performed at the event.
“Our fund for roots music musicians, in the form of grants up to $2,000 in unrestricted funds, is available to all but will give priority to Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color,” Frances Hellman, the founder of the Bay Area based Hellman foundation and the founder’s daughter stated. This is not only because these communities have been historically under-funded by philanthropy, but also because they have been adversely affected by the pandemic.”
The event was cancelled this year due tot he COVID-19 pandemic, however they held a special virtual performance hosted by prominent East LA group Los Lobos.