News & Updates


Enjoy this exclusive mixtape featuring Shakey Graves, CAKE, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Blind Pilot, Better Than Ezra and others. Download Now!


Check out our Pilgrimage Session with Band of Horses. Click above to stream their two song set "The Sea and the Rhythm" and "Dilly".


"The inaugural Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival brought dozens of amazing artists to Franklin, Tennessee this past September. The stellar lineup included Wilco, Willie Nelson, Band of Horses, Steven Tyler, The Decemberists, Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton, Lucius, Dawes and many more, playing on four stages across a rolling farm over two days. Many of the up-and-coming bands at the festival joined us in the Dark Horse Institute studio at the festival to play a few songs, and we're excited to share the best of those sessions here!"

Download sessions and learn more at


Check out our Pilgrimage Session with The Grand Southern. Click above to stream their four song set "Drive Me Wild", "Lorena", "California" and "Tears".


Check out our Pilgrimage Session with John & Jacob. Click above to stream their three song set "Give It Away", "Be My Girl", and "Onto Us".


Our next set features The Lone Bellow. Listen to their Pilgrimage Session, which includes a cover of Paul Simon's song "Slip Slidin' Away." Click above to listen to their three song set "To The Woods", "Slip Slidin' Away" , and "Marietta".


Don't miss Pilgrimage's segment on CMT's "Southbound". Airing tonight, November 10th, at 8pm CT on the CMT Network.


Our next Pilgrimage Sessions is with son and mother duo Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. Click above to listen to their three song set "Down In Mississippi", "Sorrow and Woes", and "Fight On".


Myrtle Beach native Stevie Woodward's session is a must for fans of Sheryl Crow; her music features that same blend of country, rock and pop sensibilities. Click above to stream her three song set "Don't Go Back", "I Had It In Me The Whole Time", and "A Love to Call My Own".


Our second one-of-a-kind Pilgrimage Sessions was recorded with Franklin’s own Will Hoge. Click above to listen to his three song set "Little Bitty Dreams", "Last Time I Do It, Til I Do It Again", and "Through Missing you".


"700,000 Rednecks" LISTEN NOW!

One-of-a-kind Pilgrimage Sessions with artists from our inaugural lineup, recorded across the road from the festival grounds. Our first session starts with Nikki Lane. Take a listen by clicking the link above.


Grammy award winning band, Wilco, will make the pilgrimage to Franklin, TN for the first annual Pilgrimage Festival this September! Wilco, a Chicago-based band including Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Nels Cline, and Patrick Sansone, is best known for their experimental rock sound.

Wilco has released nine studio albums, including A Ghost Is Born, which won two Grammy awards for "Best Alternative Music Album" and "Best Recording Package" in 2005. A total of five Wilco albums have been nominated for Grammys, most recently The Whole Love in 2012. Seeing as this is their 20th anniversary as a group, fans can expect a very diverse show featuring both classics and new hits alike.


Holly Williams was practically born with country music in her blood. As the granddaughter of country music legend Hank Williams Sr. and the daughter of Hank Williams Jr., Holly has deep musical roots. Inspired by her family’s success and determined to pave her own way in the music industry, the youngest Williams released her first studio album in 2004, which preceded two more albums - one in 2009 and another in 2013. Her 2013 album, The Highway, was released on Williams’ own record label and debuted at number one on Billboard’s heat-seekers chart.

Williams broke her arm and wrist in a 2006 car accident, forcing her to cancel her upcoming tour. The injuries Williams sustained made it questionable whether or not she’d ever be able to play the guitar again. After a three-year hiatus, Williams fully healed and began playing guitar and writing again, which prompted her to release her second studio album, Here with Me, in 2009. Here with Me was named one of People magazine’s top albums of 2009 and Billboard dubbed it as “one of...


Grammy-nominated country artist, Will Hoge, will stun Pilgrimage Festival goers with his alternative ballads and soothing, classic southern twang. Hoge, a Tennessee native, first hit the music scene as a solo artist in 2003 when Atlantic Records released his debut album, Blackbird On A Lonely Wire. Hoge later self-released a few live albums in 2004 and 2005, while songwriting for many established artists in Nashville.

Hoge’s life took an unexpected turn in 2008 when he was in a scooter accident in Nashville and sustained several broken bones, but later caught his big song writing break in 2009 when the Eli Young Band cut his song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” which went number one on the country charts. Don’t miss the opportunity to see a local legend at Pilgrimage Festival!


South Carolina native Nikki Lane is the epitome of the term “artist,” dabbling in both fashion and music. After dropping out of high school in Greenville, South Carolina, Lane worked as a fashion designer in Los Angeles and later in New York City. After breaking up with a country musician, she was inspired to begin writing her own country music.

Lane’s songwriting brought her to Nashville, Tennessee, where she released her debut album in 2011. The album, Walk of Shame, was released on Iamsound Records and was followed by her second album, All or Nothin’, in 2014.

Lane’s sound has been compared to American classic, Wanda Jackson, as well as fellow Pilgrimage Festival performer, Neko Case. Don’t miss either at Pilgrimage Festival this September!


American folk rock band The Decemberists will take the Pilgrimage Festival by storm this September. The group, popular for their eclectic, live performances and unique lyrics, consists of five members and hails from Portland, Oregon. Fans can expect to see an array of instruments used throughout the show, including an upright bass, organs, and accordions to produce the band's unique sound.

Following a tour with fellow Pilgrimage Festival performer, Neko Case, and the legendary Bob Dylan, The Decemberists released their sixth album, The King is Dead, which featured the Grammy nominated song "Down By the Water." Since receiving the Grammy nomination in 2011, the group has released two more albums; most recently, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World in January 2015. The band is currently on tour across the U.S.

Don't miss them at the Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, TN!

festival history and Background

You might wonder where the name Pilgrimage came from… the definition means to make a journey. Hosting music that comes from the legendary “Gold Record Road;” New Orleans, the Mississippi Delta, Memphis, Nashville and many other places; a Pilgrimage will be made. Artists with deep roots in Franklin along with those who haven’t been there before, all coming together for this event.

Born and raised in Louisiana, founders of Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival Kevin Griffin, Brandt Wood, and Michael Whelan were heavily influenced by the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Griffin, the lead singer of Better Than Ezra, has called the Nashville-Franklin area of Tennessee home for many years now.

Franklin, TN, immensely rich in American history, is the location of The Park at Harlinsdale. Previously one of the country’s premiere walking horse farms, Harlinsdale is now a city owned park. Griffin, a frequenter of the park’s jogging trails, had an epiphany one day, “surrounded by those rolling hills and natural amphitheaters: this is the perfect setting for an amazing, unique music...

pilgrimage festival blog

Franklin, TN is 22 miles south of Nashville and is widely known for the Civil War Battle that took place there. Franklin hosts thousands of tourists exploring American History every year, and over 60,000 residents call it home. Franklin has charm and southern hospitality while simultaneously being a place for innovation. Many Fortune 500 Companies are located in Franklin and it is listed as one of the Top 50 Places to Start a Small Business by Business Week Magazine.

With family owned shops, historical sites, fine lodging options, and gorgeous scenery there is something for everyone visiting Franklin – including Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival!!


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September 23 and 24

The Park at Harlinsdale - Franklin, Tennessee