One of the newest festivals to grace the Middle Tennessee region brings its own unique brand of family-friendly vibes with a great setting to see some of your favorite bands.
The Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is an annual 2-day event held during the last weekend of September located within the spacious rolling hills of the Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, Tennessee. The weekend of September 26-27, 2015 marked the event’s inaugural year, and proved that even in its first year, organizers were doing something right.
The festival was founded by local resident, and lead singer of the band Better Than Ezra, Kevin Griffin who thought the landscape and location of the 200 acre former Tennessee Walking Horse farm was perfect for a large-scale event that would showcase a diverse array of music for thousands of fans.
The event played host to numerous headlining artists with various musical stylings. Some of the artists featured included: Wilco, Willie Nelson, Weezer, Cage The Elephant, Steven Tyler, The Decemberists, Sheryl Crow, Band Of Horses, Dr. John, Dawes, Punch Brothers, Iron & Wine, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and many more.
The festival grounds were laid out amongst the farmland in such a way that provided enough space to spread out, but it never took patrons long to get from one area to the next. The stages were also angled to minimize sound bleed between performances and each were given their own theme specific to its location on the farm – 2 large mainstages (Midnight Sun and Gold Record Road), 1 midsized stage (Hard Rock Harpeth River), and the Childrens’ Stage located within the Hohner Little Pilgrims area.
At the center of everything lived the Bazaar and Food Truck Village which are filled with interesting shops, arts and crafts, and good food. Throughout the grounds there are also a couple smaller stages and lounges providing patrons with more intimate and acoustic performances from some of their favorite local and regional artists.
What sets this festival apart from many others is the fact that it is also a family-oriented festival – meaning that all ages are welcome, and parents are encouraged to bring their children. The festival even has an area specifically designed for the entertainment of children with activities and musical performances.
Since this is a family-oriented event, there is no camping onsite and there is a strict 8pm curfew for bands performing on stage. Regardless of these restrictions, the festival seemed to be incredibly well organized, and attracted 11,000 ticket holders each day.
Based on the success of its first year, Pilgrimage is aiming to become one of the best Fall music festivals in the Southeast.