Kevin Griffin Shares How The Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival Captures That ‘Summer Camp’ Vibe
Kevin Griffin is “cool as a cucumber” when talking to HollywoodLife. At the time, it was less than three weeks away from the 2022 Pilgrimage Cultural & Music Festival (tomorrow, September 24 and 25 at Harlinsdale Ranch in Franklin, Tennessee.) run festival symbol Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, The Avett Brothers, Elle King, Jon Batiste, and a stacked formation, but Better than Ezra the festival’s head – and co-founder – doesn’t skimp on details. “Honestly, it’s like summer camp. People start coming in next week, and when the wind eases, and we’re doing autopsies, packing things up and cleaning up the park, it’s that kind of ‘sad end of camp’ vibe. “
“Me and my partners, W. Brandt Wood and Michael Whelan, was lucky enough to grow up attending the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,” Griffin shared. “And what Jazz Fest is, it’s a celebration of the best music, food, culture, artisans and merchants of the south Bay Area – New Orleans has been and is spreading – and man, you were there are hipsters and indie landscapes with kids and families – and there’s a large foundation, he says, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, which supports music programs and various charities in the city – all those things. I grew up thinking, ‘Hey, all festivals are like this.’ It is family friendly. It’s great.”
“And, catchy and family-friendly music are not mutually exclusive. They can exist together, and because I have seen it, I grew up with it,” he added. Such is the case with Lil’ Pilgrims Family Stage And Mare Barn, one of the five stages of the Pilgrim Music Festival. Families can tour the festival’s sights and sounds throughout the day, and step back in time to see Jon Batiste and Brandi Carlile wrap up Saturday on the Gold Record Road and Midnight Sun stages.
Pilgrimage offers its own unique experience. When Kevin moved to Franklin, Tennessee, in 2013, he wanted to bring a “Jazz Fest feel” to his new home. “Even in 2013, there was Bonnaroo; There were many festivals. But I think, this more upscale, smaller carnival experience, there really is a way to it. Maybe you went to Bonnaroo, partyed in your tent, and now you have a family. Or, you want some good food, but you still think, ‘God, I’m still learning some good music.’ It’s great what we got to do here in the city. It just clicks. “
Helping “click” this year is the focus of Americana music. Kevin said: “If you look at our previous roster, it was the changes. We’ve had some years leaning towards the Americana country, like this year. We’ve had some more pop years, like Justin Timberlake and Walk on the moon. And then more rock music like Foo Fighters and the killers. And we just feel what we got into that year, and what feel like that year. “
Sometimes, “the lineups just overlap,” Griffin said. “Sometimes it’s by chance, and sometimes, it’s by design. This year, we locked down Chris Stapleton and Brandi, which set the tone. And we’ve always wanted to get Jon Batiste – and we could be one of his few public performances this year. He does not attend any festivals because he is dealing with his wife’s poor health. So we are grateful to have him. But, this is a very specific land that we are going to this year, and it seems like we made the right choice. “
However, what really makes the Pilgrimage Music & Culture Festival stand out from the rest is the focus on the second half of the title: culture. Griffin told HollywoodLife it’s not just some sort of “lip-lip service” or brand, but the festival celebrates the area’s impact on modern music. “We have this huge tent called the American Music Triangle tent. And the ‘musical triangle’ is the triangle that surrounds the Mississippi Delta. If you follow the triangle from New Orleans up to Memphis through Nashville and back to New Orleans, that region – from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee – is said to be home to more than just American music (rock, blues jazz), but it has infiltrated the whole world. “
“So we have this shack, where municipalities from all over the triangle — Greenville Cleveland, Tupelo, Muscles Shoals, New Orleans, Memphis — even San Antonio with Tejano music, they all have it. stall there. And we have Mike Wolfe are from American style picker Manage the room with all these antiques from his private inventory. When you enter this tent, you are like going back in time. You have people talking about musical genres on stage, and then you have an artist exhibiting that. We’ve really strengthened the culture section this year. “
“We have Black Opry, a great force and organization for black artists in the Americana and country spaces,” he said. “And then on Sunday we had a Southern Gospel service just to start the day. It was a celebration of nondenominational gospel music. “
And so I think this year already, I’m just very excited about it. I know I will look back with admiration for making the cultural part of the festival so deep in music, culture and history. To be able to bring that to people and then to see what’s in their own backyard and be proud of it? And raising it for a new generation is really cool. I dug into that part, and I can’t be held accountable for it – that’s one of my partners, Brant Wood, who leads the culture section. And it was really cool.”
Griffin concluded: “We were undeterred as we took our hats off to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. “They do it too well – the cultural part, the DNA is about their festival. And, and we brought that to the heart of Tennessee in our own unique way. “
Click here for more information about the Pilgrimage Music & Culture Festival.