The headliners for the upcoming Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival may be more for the grownups in the crowds, but the seventh annual event also has plenty of activities lined up for children.
Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25-26, at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, Pilgrimage will feature popular performers such as Dave Matthews Band, The Black Keys, Maren Morris and Cage the Elephant, among many others. At the same time, the Lil’ Pilgrims Family Stage features a wide-range of talent just for the kids.
Hosted by Grammy-nominated children’s musician Ralph Covert, who will be performing with his Ralph’s World, the Lil’ Pilgrims portion of the two-day festival will also include The Farmer & Adele, DRUMinSYNC, Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, Michael Dardant aka “Magic Mike,” School of Rock Nashville, Lil’ Pilgrims Hootenanny, plus the Rocky Top Revue square dancers.
Boasting dual stages in the Lil’ Pilgrims Village, the Mare Barn Theatre complements the main stage, showcasing fun-filled activities for all ages with music, magic and puppet shows, plus yoga and martial arts classes. There’s also an arts and crafts section, as well as a face-painting booth on-site.
“Lil’ Pilgrims is the family-oriented oasis in the heart of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival,” Covert said. “More than one parent has told us that they planned on a short visit and then stayed all day! It features two stages and a bustling array of activities for children of all ages. Honestly, with live music, yoga, magic and pirates, what’s not to love?”
Offering a family experience, School of Rock Nashville and the Country Music Hall of Fame will both present hands-on learning with musical instruments, while DRUMinSYNC leads drum circles and offers therapeutic rhythm exercises. Lil’ Pilgrims Passbooks are available on festival grounds for the young guests to track their adventures with stamps.
“I connected with Ralph Covert back in 2015 at another music festival,” said event co-producer W. Brandt Wood, “and I remember listening intently to a brilliant idea he had — how a kids village at a music festival would rock. That’s all I needed to hear. Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival committed in our first year to build an interactive area where a kid’s love of music is celebrated and families have a place to enjoy the event together.
“Meeting Ralph, and of course watching him perform, is transcendent for kids of all ages. He was nominated for a Grammy for his work and it’s obvious why — he connects in a soulful, fun way and surrounds himself with artists who together make Lil’ Pilgrims a must-see element of Pilgrimage.”
There will be a private changing and nursing station located in the Lil’ Pilgrims Village for parents to utilize. Children 10 years old and under are free when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder, and children 2 years old and under are admitted to VIP areas free when accompanied by an adult VIP ticket holder.
Tier two-priced two-day general admission tickets are currently on sale for $209, and two-day VIP passes for $999. Available at PilgrimageFestival.com, a layaway plan option is offered as well, to lock in passes and spread the purchase across multiple payments.
Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is produced by Better Than Ezra front-man and Franklin resident Kevin Griffin, alongside Wood and Michael Whelan. Griffin is next set to host a Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival-themed Power Hour on Lightning 100 at 1 p.m. on July 14, with more appearances slated for Aug. 18 and Sept. 15.