Pilgrimage Music and C...

Prepare to Make the Pilgrimage!


The Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival is upon us! This coming weekend we’re heading back to the Park At Harlinsdale in Franklin, TN for great music, good food, and loads of fun. This year will be the festival’s second year and it’s going down on Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th. I talked last year about how much I enjoyed it the first time around, and I wrote earlier this summer about how excited I was for it this year. Today I’m here to give readers a last minute prep guide to what they should expect. First things, first: tickets. General admission for the whole weekend has already sold out (which is incredible! I think word got out about how great it was last year, so a lot of people got the jump early on it). BUT all hope is not lost. Single day tickets can still be purchased, so hurry before they sell out too! It’s $69 per day. Think of this as convenient for those of you who can only make it for one day and are unable to commit to the whole weekend. Also, bear in mind that this year there’s a separate parking pass available for sale for $30 that can be purchased alongside your ticket. If you forgot about it or didn’t realize it, it’s ok, they will be selling parking passes onsite.

More ticket information can be found here and further parking/traveling information here. (You can also travel to the festival via canoe! I’d love to hear feedback from anyone who does this, it sounds like it’d be pretty cool!)

Next important thing to discuss: the lineup!! This can either be a great opportunity for fun stage hopping or for a heartbreaking headache as you are forced to decide between beloved acts. The full day to day lineup can be found here. Music starts as early as 10:30am, but it ends at 8pm. The main act for Saturday is Beck (which I’m probably most excited to see since he blew me away at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY two years ago) and for Sunday is Hall & Oates. There’s so many fantastic people there this year, not just the two main headliners. Last year the stages weren’t too far away from each other and the terrain wasn’t too bumpy at all, so Taryn and I were able to access each one in a good amount of time. There aren’t too many conflicts on this lineup, so hopefully we can repeat last year and make it to all the acts we want to see with time to spare. There’s three main stages this year, a specially curated stage from ASCAP Publishing, and a stage specifically aimed at those ‘Lil Pilgrims’ that will be joining you (remember this is a family friendly festival, so there’s something for all ages!). Speaking of the children, this year they’ll be able to participate in all sorts of fun activities including building their own puppets and even writing their own songs (how cool is that? Almost makes me wish to be a kid again).


Two more things of note, first your wristband is more than just your entry into the festival. This year your Pilgrimage wristband is also your means of getting in on some sweet deals in the local shops and restaurants around Franklin, TN. It’s called Pilgrimage After Dark and if you’re wearing your wristband out and about town while not at the festival, certain stores will grant you various discounts on items and food.

This year the festival also has an app that you can download. From what I can tell it’s only available on iTunes (maybe us Android users can join in next year?), but it’s a great way to keep you up to date with the schedule, map of the festival, and plus it’s free. So download it before you get there so you’re all prepped and ready once you arrive.

Last thing I’d like to mention before I go and get packing, is that this year we here at Concert Hopper were fortunate enough to hold a contest to give away two full weekend passes. Participants had to share our Facebook post or Tweet about the contest for a chance to win. Our luck winner was Jared Brewster and we’d like to congratulate him and also thank everyone who participated! Concert Hopper is grateful for all it’s contributors and readers, we couldn’t do any of this without ya’ll!

I can’t wait to be in Franklin this weekend and to see everyone (including you, Mr. Timberlake ;-) ). I have a feeling it’s going to be a fantastic festival experience!

Win Tickets to Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival!


ConcertHopper.com are giving two general admission Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival 2-Day Passes to one lucky reader for free! We want to help you #MakethePilgrimage to one of our most favorite festivals. In just a few short weeks you and a concert hopping buddy could be singing about being a loser in solidarity with Beck and saying Oh La La while Grace Potter rocks out, I can go for that. Don't forget your short skirt, long jacket and be careful to not blister in the sun. For a chance to win share the Facebook post pinned to the top of our page and/or retweet tweet below. Make sure your share public, so we can see it.


The contest will began this Sunday, September 4th and end on Saturday, September 10th. We will draw the winner via Facebook Live on ConcertHopper.com's Facebook, Sunday, September 11th at 3:00pm eastern.

While you wait to see if you won, listen to the lineup.


And book your hotel room or Airbnb.

Good luck! We will see y'all on the farm!


Make the Pilgrimage Rain or Shine



A late review is better than no review! Ha! Seriously though, I do have a very taxing day job and I’ve recently had some personal issues come up, so I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to get this typed up. Anywho…on to the show.

This year on September 26th and 27th, Taryn and I attended the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin, TN. I had to work every day leading up to the festival, so I most definitely ‘winged it’, which was a bit of a first for me as I normally attempt to vaguely prepare for these sorts of things, but there’s always a first time for everything. Speaking of first times, this was the first, and hopefully not the last, Pilgrimage Festival. It was started by Better Than Ezra guitarist Ken Griffin and held in Franklin, TN at The Park at Harlinsdale (an historic horse farm that’s been converted into a park). The town, and the park itself, were both gorgeous and not at all off the beaten path, very conveniently located near I-65 and just 20 minutes outside of Nashville. Navigation was fortunately not at all anxiety inducing for me (I normally border on a panic attack whenever I have to navigate a new locale, city driving and parking is not in my wheel house). My only major complaint was the bipolar weather situation that weekend. It alternated between clouds, sprinkles, a legitimate downpour, and blistering sunshine.

Weather concerns aside though, I ultimately had a very enjoyable time at this two day, inaugural festival. With the exception of the last two songs from Lucius, it was my first time I got to see any of these artists. Things kicked off with Saint Motel, an indie/pop rock band out of Los Angles. They sounded intriguing and got me pumped up for the weekend. After them came my primary reason for even wanting to come to this festival: Neko Case.


I can’t express to you how dear Neko Case is to my heart. She is my all time favorite female vocalist and I’ve adored her for years. She was the act I was most anticipating and she did not disappoint in any way whatsoever. If anything, she exceeded my expectations. I nearly cried when she opened with one of my favorite songs, “Hold On, Hold On”. Her voice is as good live as it is on any record of hers. She sent just as many chills up my spine here as she ever does when I have her playing on my earphones. And as if she wasn’t incredible enough, she even took time out between songs to joke with the crowd (at one point she quipped that she was enjoying dancing to Trampled by Turtles, who were playing the next stage over, in between her own songs).

After Ms. Case, came one of the most roller-coaster shows I’ve ever enjoyed: Cage the Elephant. I knew of lead singer Matt Shultz’s propensity to go crazy during their shows, but I was not prepared for some of his wilder antics! He was truly channeling the Spirit of Rock N Roll during their set! He started off tame, jumping around the stage and swinging his microphone stand around. He then moved on to stage diving, singing from the crowd, crowd surfing, and eventually taking his shirt off. Talk about melting my face off!

The last act I saw on the first day was Weezer. I’ll be upfront and say that I had no idea if they’d be any good or not. I grew up listening to their music, but I haven’t kept up with them since circa 2008/09. I’m thrilled to say that they’ve most definitely still got it. Before they hit the stage, dark, ominous rain clouds had already gathered in the sky. It’d been sprinkling on and off throughout the afternoon, so at first I wasn’t too concerned, but about three songs in, the bottom fell out and it started pouring down rain. It didn’t let up at all during the rest of their set. If Weezer had been anything short of amazing, I’d have left right then and there. Fortunately they were incredible and made suffering through the rain more than worth it.

Sunday started out cloudy and throughout the day there was the occasional sprinkle, but this day held more sunshine then the previous one. The clouds deceived me and so I completely forgot my sunscreen and would later find myself burnt to a crisp (two weeks later and I’m still peeling skin off, such are the woes of a Scotch-Irish American in the south). Before the sun came out in all its glory though, the day was kicked off with Big Sam’s Funky Nation. They’re an energetic funk band from New Orleans and I quickly discovered that they were one of the few bands that can get me dancing (and anyone who knows me, know I’m no dancer). I later got the chance to interview Big Sam and the rest of the band, but as an overexcited and underprepared newbie (I’m also no interviewer) it didn’t get very far. The band was sweet and awesome to talk to, but my nerves were the worse for wear. Chalk it up to just another one of those interesting life experiences I guess!

I later trooped back to hang out with Taryn for part of Nikki Lane’s set before heading out to see one of my favorite bands, Dawes. This is where I got into trouble. It was at the Dawes set the Mr. Sun decided to make his grand appearance. I could literally feel my skin dying as the band was playing. If I wasn’t such a fangirl (and in the midst of texting the setlist live to fellow fangirl and friend Jess), then I might’ve just given up and tried to make my way back to the car for that much needed sunscreen. But lo and behold if the clouds didn’t return almost as soon as Dawes ended –I guess the sun just literally wanted to smile down on them or something. The scorching was worth it though, because they were amazing (as expected) and I think they were even better here than when I saw them at Bonnaroo earlier this summer.

After Dawes I found Taryn again and rocked out to the last half of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. From there we sought out food to the sounds of Steven Tyler’s solo set before making our way to the main stage for the last act of the festival: Willie Nelson. I have to admit, I was not prepared for awesome he turned out to be. I rarely listen to country music, I avoid it more then I seek it out, and it’s not a genre I can claim to know very well outside of Johnny Cash’s discography. I’ve always been mildly fond of Willie Nelson as a celebrity personality, but beyond that, didn’t really know all that much about him or his songs. What a set though! The man is 82 years old and doesn’t look or sound a day over 60, haha. He played it all from country, to outlaw country, to pop, to country rock, classic country (Hank Williams covers for the win!), and even gospel (and including my favorite “Fly Away”). He was a true delight to watch on stage and undoubtedly a perfect choice to close the first annual Pilgrimage Music and Culture Festival.

All in all I enjoyed the festival. The venue was great, the food was good, the vibes were chill, and of course the lineup was fantastic. Everything ran so smooth, you wouldn’t have ever known it was a first time festival. I hope this is just the beginning of even greater things for Pilgrimage and can’t wait to see what they have in store for the years to come.

Photos by Ricardo Chang.

Taryn's September Rewind and October Calendar


This month I did not go to any concerts around town. I stayed busy and lazy doing non-music things with family and friends. Christine and I decided to make the pilgrimage to the inaugural Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival to make up for it. Stay tuned for a full review and more later this week. I could and should have squeezed more sets into my schedule this weekend, but sometimes you go through break up and have a rough week at work. So you run off to a horse farm in middle Tennessee, don't plan your schedule and just chill.

Saturday we got our wonderful wristbands. Then I enjoyed the sounds of Saint Motel, Neko Case, Cage the Elephant, Punch Brothers and Weezer.


Sunday we explored the festival grounds and did some shopping before dancing to Big Sam's Funky Nation. Sang along with my beloved Nikki Lane and danced to Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Listened to Band of Horses while eating dinner, then settled in for Willie Nelson's closing set.

I am setting out to do all of these events next month. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, October 6th - Rhiannon Giddens at Track 29

Tuesday, October 20th - Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at Revelry Room 

Saturday, October 24th - Halloween Barn Bash

Friday, October 30th - The Scarlet Love Conspiracy presents: The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Revelry Room

Plans are undecided for Halloween. Give me some ideas!