Franklin To Host 4th Pilgrimage Festival

Posted at 5:34 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 19:34:31-04

Every year Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival tries to make the festival better than the year before, and not just with the musical acts, but with the experience that festival goers get.

"If you want a deep dive into Middle Tennessee music, culture, food, artisans - Pilgrimage Festival is your festival," Kevin Griffin, co-founder of the festival, said.

Griffin gained fame with the band Better Than Ezra, which he formed in 1988, and he has continued his career as a singer and songwriter. When he created Pilgrimage Festival, he wanted a festival that was more refined, and it's turned into one of the premiere festivals in the United States.

In their fourth year, Pilgrimage will have two specific headlining stages.

"It was important to us to not just have one headlining stage, so we've increased the size of the Gold Record Stage," Griffin said.

The co-headlining stages will have slight overlap, with Lionel Richie wrapping up his set as Jack White starts his on Saturday, and Dave Mathews and Tim Reynolds wrapping up their set as Chris Stapleton starts his on Sunday.

"Just when we think we can't outdo ourselves, we outdo ourselves," Griffin said.

Beyond the music, Pilgrimage offers a look into Tennessee Culture, with a stage built by Mike Wolf of American Pickers with Old Relics, and the festival is highlighting businesses like Blackberry Farm from the Smokies.

"They're coming and curating this James Beard-worth dining and wine experience," Griffin explained, adding that it will be called the "Grand Champion Experience" and will bring things you'd never expect at a regular festival. "You're gonna be able to have fly-fishing lessons, champagne sabering lesson."

The experience will even feature truffle-smelling puppies.

Beyond that, when visitors first enter the festival, they'll walk through an area that highlights Justin Timberlake's childhood home.

Timberlake got involved in the festival about two years ago and headlined the festival in 2017.

"If you've been to a festival before, expect to be blown away and have your eyes opened wide," Griffin said.

The weather is questionable for the weekend, with chances for heat and rain, so the festival has put in areas for shade with water stations. They will also have ponchos available for purchase if it rains.