FRANKLIN, Tenn. — 1000’s of individuals attended the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Competition Saturday below clear blue skies, setting the stage for a weekend of dwell music.
The annual competition was canceled final yr as a result of coronavirus pandemic and reopened this yr at full capability with detrimental coronavirus check or full vaccination necessities. Pilgrimage emerged because the final out of doors competition left standing in Center Tennessee after extreme climate washed out Bonnaroo.
Basic Admission tickets offered out by Friday, placing the competition on observe to achieve its most variety of 25,000 friends every day. The competition’s media relations workforce did not instantly present actual attendance counts, however regardless of the ticket sell-out, the group was a sluggish trickle of individuals early Saturday when the gates opened.
Earlier years drew a line of individuals on the gates earlier than they opened, wanting to get a main spot for the day’s headliner act. Stage viewing areas weren’t jam-packed early Saturday afternoon, with few dashing to the entrance.
It took a number of hours for the group to swell. By late afternoon, 1000’s poured into the venue, spilling onto the grass of the historic farm. As early acts rocked out Saturday, the relaxed crowd grooved to the music from the consolation of colourful picnic blankets and garden chairs.
Saturday’s lineup featured Katie Pruitt, Houndmouth, Maren Morris and headliner The Black Keys.
Sunday’s schedule options Jamestown Revival, Black Pumas, Cage the Elephant and headliner Dave Matthews Band closing out the competition.
Jerry Dixon, who lives in Franklin and attends the competition yearly, stated the coronavirus restrictions may need impacted crowd measurement. He stated the group was a lot smaller than earlier years.
With the coronavirus pandemic nonetheless raging, Pilgrimage applied security protocols per what different festivals have required: full vaccination or proof of a detrimental check. The choice got here from following friends within the music trade and having talks with artists who’ve requested tighter protocols, producers stated.
“That is the lightest turnout up to now,” Dixon stated.
Competition places Franklin on map as a music vacation spot
The chilliness vibe, completely different from many different music festivals that pull out a celebration and rave crowd, is what attracted some attendees preferring the quiet over rowdiness.
The Gaby household of Winchester attended Pilgrimage for the primary time Saturday. Carlie and Andrew Gaby used to attend Bonnaroo earlier than they’d children. When their boys are older, they stated they’d contemplate the tenting competition, however for now they’d keep on with Pilgrimage resulting from its security, cleanliness and family-friendly environment. It was quiet Saturday for a music competition, however the laidback feeling was good for some attendees.
Two-time attendee Megan Napier got here to the occasion with excessive expectations. Her first yr on the competition was reduce quick by extreme climate, which prompted a chaotic evacuation and a lot of the competition to be canceled.
She, her husband and two kids deliberate to attend New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Competition this yr, however it was canceled due to the pandemic, leaving Pilgrimage as a best choice for festivalgoers searching for a spot to expertise music with their household. The competition has an space devoted to children — “Lil’ Pilgrims” — the place they will hearken to kids’s music and play video games.
Dwelling in Franklin, it was straightforward for the Napiers to attend Pilgrimage. As Napier sat along with her child son on the kids’s stage, performers dressed as pirates entertained a small crowd of children.
“Since we’re native, we wish to help what they’re making an attempt to do right here,” she stated. “It is superb.”
And what producers try to do is create a music competition vacation spot for households and an older crowd not served by most festivals. Producers Kevin Griffin, Brandt Wooden and Michael Whelan all have ties to New Orleans and its annual Jazz Fest and have been impressed by it once they crafted Pilgrimage. Waylon referred to as it a “showcase of Franklin.”
Franklin is already a preferred vacationer vacation spot for historical past buffs and people visiting Nashville that need a style of an Americana metropolis. Many vacationers are drawn to Nashville as a rustic music vacation spot, however Franklin does not have a lot of a repute as a music metropolis. The producers wish to change that.
The competition had an space devoted to the Americana Musical Triangle, which producers recognized as Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans, a triangle of Southern creativity that has roots in jazz, nation, blues and R&B music. Cities exterior these music cities, like Franklin, even have one thing to supply to music vacationers, which the producer trio tapped into once they launched Pilgrimage. Just like the New Orleans competition, Pilgrimage gives a various lineup with illustration from completely different genres.
“We have created a repute inside the trade and throughout the nation and the world as as a competition that is talked about among the many greatest ones,” Waylon stated.
Attain Brinley Hineman at [email protected] and on Twitter @brinleyhineman. To remain up to date on Williamson County information, join our publication.