WCS band member

As the weekend draws nearer for the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, organizers have partnered with Williamson County Schools and its Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center (EIC) program to host a Battle of the Bands for high school acts during its upcoming pep rally. 

Pilgrimage Festival is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, and the winning high school band will get the chance to perform during this year's event on Sunday at 12:15 p.m.

Pilgrimage Pep Rally

To qualify for the contest, the majority of each aspiring band must be enrolled in WCS. Participating acts can submit their entries now through 12 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. The two finalists will be announced on Monday, Sept. 12, and will both win a Gibson swag bag. 

They will then have a live showdown at the Pilgrimage Festival pep rally on Saturday, Sept. 17 for the ultimate prize — a performance slot at Pilgrimage Festival. The pep rally will take place at the EIC from 5-8 p.m. complete with games, food and drinks, and, of course, entertainment will be provided by the Battle of the Bands.

"Students at Williamson County School’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center have been tasked with providing creative content for this year’s Pilgrimage Festival," said EIC Executive Director Jeremy Qualls. "One might question the benefit of asking high school students what they can contribute to a music festival that already brings 25,000 people to Franklin. The 200-plus EIC students have proven that their unconventional and inventive ideas have been nothing short of amazing. 

“The power of the program and this partnership was evident when students came in during the summer months to begin working on this project. This project will provide students with real life experiences in logistics, marketing, content creation and problem solving."

The Battle of the Bands contest is conducted through WCS. For more information, contact [email protected]. The EIC is located at 104 Claude Yates Drive in Franklin.  

The winning band will join this year's stacked Pilgrimage Festival lineup, featuring headliners Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Jon Batiste and The Avett Brothers, plus additional performers like Lake Street Dive, Elle King, Lennon Stella, Trampled by Turtles, Dawes, Better Than Ezra, Marty Stuart, Celisse, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Butch Walker, Brittney Spencer, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Adia Victoria, Bones Owens, Jensen McRae and many more. 

Two-day general admission passes, two-day VIP passes and single-day tickets for Pilgrimage Festival are on sale now, and can be purchased here