It’s a strange coincidence, I suppose, but one of the first mini-festivals I ever went to featured none other than Pilgrimage co-founder Kevin Griffin’s band, Better than Ezra. It was 1995 and my mother had just started to let me go to concerts (not including the Grateful Dead show I would sneak out to with my field hockey team – sorry mom). It was a free event called the River Rave along the Charles River in Boston, also featuring Letters to Cleo (remember them?), General Public and Sleeper, and I went with my friend Kit armed with our most teenage tank-tops, proper patchwork corduroys and one or two cigarettes stolen from our older siblings. We sang along loudly and predictably to “Good,” which was also the first song my then-boyfriend learned to play on his bass guitar. Synchronicity, man.
Twenty years later, I’ll be giving my toddler son his first festival experience thanks to the very same Kevin Griffin – at the Pilgrimage Festival, happening this weekend in Franklin at an old horse farm, the Park at Harlinsdale. I’ve been to my share of multi-day music events, but never – to be embarrassingly honest – developed much of a taste for sweatbox camping, 4 am sets I’d rather see at the Stone Fox or the stress of trying to run back and fourth between stages (not to mention those expensive food truck burritos). Pilgrimage is the kind of festival I daydream about, where I can spend a pleasant fall afternoon with the kid seeing bands like Wilco, Nikki Lane, Chris Stapleton, Dawes, Willie Nelson and Weezer without having to pitch a tent or see the sunrise. It’s a very welcome change, where the only crazy person with facepaint running around in circles with a tutu will be a three-year-old named Molly, not a college student on molly. This is good news.
We asked Kevin Griffin, who lives in Franklin now with his family, to give us the five reasons he created the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival. Snag tickets here, and see you on the Farm – not that farm.
Nashville Five By Kevin Griffin :::
There wasn’t a festival in the Nashville area that represented all the amazing music that Nashville and Franklin has to offer. Rock, Pop, Country, Bluegrass, Soul…It’s all here.
There is no festival anywhere that has a setting as unique and beautiful as the Park at Harlinsdale Farm. Rolling hills, natural amphitheaters, breath taking.
There wasn’t a family friendly festival with an award winning curated children’s stage like the Little Pilgrim’s stage.
There was no festival that showcases the amazing food of middle Tennessee. We have a stage, The Kitchen Tell, devoted to the food and the chefs.
There was no festival that had some of your favorite artists performing in an acoustic setting.