Highlights from Pilgrimage Festival 2023

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) Neyla Pekarek, Jeremiah Fraites, Wesley Schultz and Ben Wahamaki of The Lumineers perform onstage for day one of the 2023 Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm on September 23, 2023 in Franklin, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival PACKED out The Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, TN, celebrating its ninth year with a SOLD-OUT weekend (September 23 & 24). Across three stages, two days and thousands of fans, the music and arts festival put on a knock-out show.

During the two-day event, fans packed out the farm from stage to stage, selling out the event for the second time in Pilgrimage Festival history. With doors opening at noon on both days, people flooded in eager to celebrate music, art and community.

“We were absolutely blown away by the performances we witnessed this weekend and are grateful to all the artists for making this a really special year. We want to thank the fans for being here and for their enthusiasm and passion for this festival. They show up ready to have a great time and their energy is one of the reasons we can attract such top tier talent,” shared festival producers Michael Whelan, Kevin Griffin and W. Brandt Wood.

  • High points from Day 1 included comedian and podcaster Theo Von joining Better Than Ezra on stage to gift the iconic Pilgrimage Festival Gibson Guitar to a lucky fan in the crowd, which has become a festival tradition.
  • A hometown performance from fast-rising Nashville singer-songwriter Hailey Whitters, and an unforgettable moment from headliner The Lumineers who rocked-out from their very own satellite stage surrounded by the crowd.
  • Keeping the momentum red-hot at Day 2, the Gold Record stage area was filled for  Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats  There were also surprise guests starting with Better Than Ezra’s Kevin Griffin sitting in with Tigirlily Gold for a fun performance of their co-penned song, “Shoot Tequila.”
  • More major highlights from this day included Dierks Bentley’s pop-up at Charlie Worsham’s set for “Things I Can’t Control,” and Nashville-based producer/songwriter of The Cadillac Three, Jaren Johnson appeared on stage.
  • Sunday night headliner Zach Bryan “surprises fans with a few guests. Bryan was joined by  The War & Treaty, who also performed on the Midnight Sun stage earlier in the day, to perform their collaboration “Hey Driver.” Noah Kahan hit the stage with Bryan to perform their song “Sarah’s Place” from Bryan’s surprise EP Boys Of Faith, that landed Friday (9/22). And The Lumineers and Bryan both returned for an encore Sunday night for their never-performed recent duet “Spotless.” Bryan even stopped the show to bring a fan on stage to sing and play guitar during his popular hit “Heading South.” The fan revealed his name to be Johnny.
  • Makers Village celebrated the weekend with tons of festivalgoers eager to peruse and shop. While the Franklin Fun Farm delighted all the little ones, captivating their attention with stellar acts such as high-flying aerialists on Saturday. The Beer Hall was the go-to spot for all football fanatics to watch their teams live on huge LED screens. And fans who missed out on the epic sold-out weekend tuned into Pilgrimage Festival’s social media for all the live updates, garnering over a MILLION views for the festival’s Instagram page, just this weekend.

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is produced by Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin, W. Brandt Wood and Michael Whelan and has established itself as a leader in the music and arts festival business. Beyond the music, the festival creates a space for community to join together and celebrate.

Pilgrimage Festival would like to thank all sponsors who helped make the event possible: Gibson, Beaulieu Vineyard, Bud Light, Crescent 9, Deep Eddy Vodka, Dunkin’, George Dickel Bourbon, High West Whiskey, Milagro Tequila, National Seating & Mobility, NÜTRL, Stetson Spirit, Tractor Supply Company, Vanderbilt Health, Wicked Weed Brewing, and Williamson Health.

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