San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival hasn’t historically had strict security rules, but in light of the recent string of deadly mass shootings, the popular event will be enforcing new rules this year.
Music fans will see more police officers, K-9 units, tactical units and security guards both inside and outside of Golden Gate Park, the event venue. For the first time in 19 years, all side paths will be closed with fences. There will be only four main entrances to the venue, but a number of marked emergency exits will be available.
“The world has changed in the 19 years that we’ve been doing this and we had fans and other people who work on the festival who were concerned about their personal safety, and for good reason, I think,” said Mick Hellman of the Hellman Foundation which puts on the free music festival each year.
Security guards will be at the entrances, checking attendees and their bags – which now must be clear. No large backpacks or coolers will be allowed.
“I think after Gilroy, the shooting at Gilroy, it’s a good idea,” said attendee Ralph Kacy. “It’s not that big of a hassle and we ran out and bought some clear backpacks at the last minute.”
The event began Friday and ends Sunday. Attendees do not have to pay to get in.