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Prepping Guide for The Pilgrimage Music Festival

Since 2015 the Pilgrimage Music Festival has been held in Franklin Tennessee. This festival made a splash with its first lineup and has continued to deliver with each lineup since. It is not your typical music fest.  The folks at the Pilgrimage have done an incredible job of blending the music festival experience with a family friendly environment. We decided to put our experience to work and prepare a guide for festival goers to experience the best of what the Pilgrimage has to offer. This post contains affiliate links

What to Know about the Pilgrimage Music Festival

Pilgrimage Festival Lineup

The Pilgrimage has had incredible lineups each year of its existence and 2018 is no different.  Headliners for this year are Jack White and Chris Stapleton.  Other notables on the lineup include Lionel Richie, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Hozier, Brandi Carlile, and Counting Crows.  This lineup has something for just about everyone; the hard part will be picking between so many amazing artists. See the Pilgrimage festival schedule and full lineup 


The Pilgrimage 2018 will be held on September 22nd – 23rd from 10 am – 8 pm


The Pilgrimage Music and Arts Festival is held at Harlinsdale Park, 239 Franklin Rd, Franklin, Tennessee 37064

Ticket Information

There are a few options available when purchasing your tickets for the Pilgrimage Music Festival.  From cushy VIP to single day entry to see that one artist you cant miss. General admission is sold in two tiers, so if you know you plan on going, it makes sense to buy early and get the cheaper prices. If you plan on bringing your kids, children 10 and under receive free general admission when accompanied by a paying adult.  VIP is free for infants under 2 with a paying VIP adult.

VIP and single day tickets sell out quick, so get them early.


Limited Parking is available on the site of the festival.  To utilize this parking you must purchase a parking pass. There is also near site parking available and parking in town. If ride share is more of your speed, there is a ride share drop-off and pickup zone near the festival site.

Where to Stay

The Pilgrimage Music Festival is not a camping festival, so you will have to stay somewhere.  Fortunately, Franklin and the nearby area has a wide variety of hotel options. From affordable to luxury, Franklin’s hotels are a great place to get a good nights rest before the show. Book with confidence thanks to the Best Price Guarantee from

What to Bring


With 5 stages and a great vendor area, you are going to put on some miles over the weekend.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Don’t try to pull this off in heels or flip flops, you will regret it.  That said, there are  a lot of places around the festival grounds to sit down.  Take advantage of them, rest as much as you can without missing shows you want to see. Its a big festival and a long weekend, don’t over do it.


Late September in Tennessee can be weird weather wise. It is possible that it will be 90 degrees and sunny, or it might be 55 degrees and cloudy, or it might be both in the same day.  It is hard to predict what kind of clothing you will need so you should definitely pack both cool and warm weather clothes for your stay and make your choices the day of the show.


Even if it is cool out, music festivals take a lot of work, and it is important that you stay hydrated.  There are free water refill stations on the grounds at the Pilgrimage.  Take advantage of them, make sure you have a water container ( I prefer a hydration back pack), and you keep it full.


Backpacks are your friend at music festivals.  You can store any merchandise you buy, supplies like sunscreen and bug spray, and if you have a hydration pack, you can carry your water in them too. I’ve been carrying the a CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack for a few years now, and it hasn’t let me down. It holds 3 liters of water, has a nice big pocket in the back, and smaller pockets up front to keep stuff organized.


There is not a lot of shade available at the Pilgrimage music festival, so it is important that you protect your skin.  Even when it feels incredible out, you can get sunburned.  Sunburn will ruin your festival, so go ahead and make sure you have a good sunblock and you apply it as recommended.


You are going to need something to sit on.  You can bring chairs as long as they are lower than 30 inches, but if you don’t want to carry them around, a thick blanket can be nice to. Check out these chairs that fit the requirements:


As far as I know, every vendor takes a card, but sometimes things happen and you just need cash. The amount you carry is up to you.  I like to keep $100 in twenties.  You never know what may happen from vendors card readers not working correctly to an awesome charity that you would like to donate to.


Porta-potties are dark scary places.  As much as you don’t want to see what is happening in there, a headlamp is essential to get a look inside and manage a less than ideal restroom situation safely.

Portable Phone Charger

Sometimes you need just a little more juice for the phone.  You are going to be taking lots of pictures and probably updating your social media.  Make sure you have a portable phone charger to give you that extra boost late in the day. You don’t want to miss that picture of the headliner because your battery is dead.


Your kids are going to get tired.  They are not going to want to walk around the festival all day. The Pilgrimage welcomes wagons for kids, so take advantage to this. A folding wagon is also a pretty sweet way to haul all the extra stuff you get tired of carrying.

What to Leave Home

The Pilgrimage Music Festival is a family friendly event.  They are committed to fostering an environment that makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the incredible artists they book.  That being said there are some things they do not allow festival goers to bring in to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

Prohibited Items

  • Do not Bring Glass Containers
  • No Outside Alcohol
  • No Outside Food
  • Don’t Bring Inflatables (Beach Balls, Giant Swans, Footballs etc.)
  • Leave your Beach Umbrella at home, the people behind you will thank you.
  • Don’t Bring Drugs

For a full list of prohibited items be sure to check out the Rules and Policies page at the Pilgrimage’s Website.


Hydrate Before You Go

Don’t go into a music festival already dehydrated.  You will not last long.  Make sure in the days and weeks leading up to the show, you are consuming a healthy amount of water.

Gold Bond

Chafing sucks, and walking as much as a festival requires is a sure way to get it.  Help prevent it with Gold Bond applied liberally everywhere your body rubs.

Toilet Paper

The Pilgrimage does a great job of keeping the restroom supplies stocked, but better safe than sorry.  Bring a small roll of toilet paper for yourself. Share the wealth too, kindness goes a long way at music festivals.

Rally Point

You are going to get separated from your group, plan ahead and set a meeting location for your crew for when it happens.  Sometimes it can be hard to hear a phone ring at a festival, so having a meetup plan in place ahead of time makes life a lot easier.

Lock Screen Contact

Cell phones get dropped or lost all the time.  Make sure it is easy to find you if you lose yours by setting up a lock screen with contact information of someone in your crew on it. That way when some honest soul finds it they can reach out to the contact on your lock screen and get the phone back to you.

Don’t be scared to go it alone

Anytime you go to a festival with someone else, eventually you will want to see different things.  Don’t be scared to venture off alone (with a plan to meetup later) to see that show your crew wants to pass on.

Must See at The Pilgrimage Music Festival

There is a lot to see at the Pilgrimage, but there are somethings you should not miss. The festival is full of entertaining things and without a plan, it would be easy to miss some of the best things there.

Art Barn

Located between the main stages, the Art Barn is… well, a horse barn that has art from amazing artists on display.  Its a great place to pop out of the sun for a few minutes and check out some incredible talent.

Lil’ Pilgrims Stage

Did you bring your kids?  Good!  Be sure to go by the Lil Pilgrims stage area and see all of the children’s musicians and awesome activities they have going on for the kids.

The Bazaar

The vendors at the Pilgrimage music festival are great.  These artisans bring everything including posters, art pieces, boutique clothing, and other awesome items. Bring a little spending money and do some shopping in the bazaar.

Incredible Eats

There is so much good food to be had!  Multiple food vendors set up along with a lane full of food trucks.  Some of my past favorites have been the Redneck Burrito from Puckett’s, the Chicken soft taco’s from Chuy’s, and Poke from Funk Seoul Brother.

Shady Grove

Across from the Main stage just past the Bazaar you will find the Shady Grove, a nice sitting area with a small stage and a lot of shade.  This is a great place to catch your breath between shows, and see some unique up and coming acts.

The Music

The most important thing to see at the Pilgrimage is the music.  Make sure you check the schedule before you go and plan out your day so you don’t miss any of the acts you want to see.  Leave a little bit of room to check out some new music too.

Make The Pilgrimage

Whether it is your first time or you go every year, the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is sure to be a blast.  Kevin Griffin and team have curated an unforgettable experience. Don’t skip this great festival. We hope we have given you a good idea of how to manage your Pilgrimage.  Tell us your favorite festival tips in the comments!

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