Hey everyone, it's set-time-o'-clock: The point at which you can start planning which acts you'll see (along with every other mobile human on the planet) at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (Sept. 30 to Oct. 2) and Treasure Island Music Festival (Oct. 15 and 16).
Often set time discovery is an exercise in pain (or in getting yelled at by obsessive Phish fans), but it doesn't have to be.
For Treasure Island, it won't be. If you're going to Treasure Island, you can see every band you want, because there are only two stages, they're not far apart, and their sets don't overlap. Find the set times here, but all you really have to worry about is waking up early enough to catch the shuttle to see the first band you care about. Once you're there, seeing everyone you want is easy.
Now for Hardly Strictly, the free, three-day affair in Golden Gate Park next weekend, things are a little more complicated...
Last year, we talked with Warren Hellman, the billionare investment banker who puts on the festival (along with a hardworking staff, of course), and he gave some good advice on how to do Hardly Strictly: Don't try to see everyone you think you want to. You will not be able to, and you'll just get frustrated in the attempt. It's huge event, with six stages and a bazillion people. Instead of wandering around and getting frustrated, Warren thinks you should just pick the stage with the artists you want to see most and hang out there.
Take him up on that or not. (We did for one day last year, and it was relaxing and fun.) Either way, the full Hardly Strictly Bluegrass schedule is here.
We'll have lots more on the festival here next week, including a list of recommended artists to see. But in case you're making plans now, we'll remind you once again that Broken Social Scene's sets at Hardly Strictly (and later Saturday at the Fillmore) will be its last shows in North America for a very, very long while -- and possibly forever. The band members are taking an indefinite hiatus to relax and work on other projects, so see Broken Social Scene now if you have the urge.