Kevin Griffin

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival

by Jordan McGuire on June 29, 2015


Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival that was created by Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, Brandt Wood and Michael Whelan. The trio aspired to highlight the diversity and community spirit of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, tailoring the best elements to Franklin, TN where Griffin now resides. The festival will take off September 26-27.

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is a two-day event transforming The Park At Harlinsdale Farm into an oasis of music, food and culture set against the natural amphitheaters and vistas of this former walking horse farm located in Franklin, TN.  Renowned musical acts, many performing acoustically, will be presented on wood-clad stages reflecting the area’s historic aesthetic. In addition to artists performing their own sets, Pilgrimage will feature Pilgri-mashups where one-of-a-kind pairings of musicians collaborate with one another on stage as well as the first-ever Kitchen Stage and Sippin’ Stage and Little Pilgrim’s Landing specifically for kids. The region’s best food and drink will be on display as well as numerous local artists and artisans creating an all-encompassing festival experience. Curation of the food and beverage program is on-going and will be announced this summer.

2-Day passes and VIP packages are available at $172 (2-Day pass) and $499 (2-Day VIP package) and Single Day passes will be available at a later date as well as the festival schedule. Passes and VIP packages can be purchased via the Pilgrimage website –

Not only will the festival drive tourism dollars to Williamson County but a portion of each ticket sale will benefit the City of Franklin and Franklin Parks. In addition a portion of ticket sales will also benefit MusiCares®, a nonprofit organization that was established by The Recording Academy® to provide a wide range of emergency financial assistance and addiction recovery resources to members of the music community.

None of this could have been possible without the festival culture and spirit that is ingrained into New Orleans and all who have resided there including the festival co-founders. Many New Orleans bands are also on the bill including Dr. John, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation.

Full Inaugural Lineup Below:

Willie Nelson
Sheryl Crow
Cage The Elephant
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
The Decemberists
Band of Horses
The Lone Bellow
Trampled By Turtles
Chris Stapleton
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Jimmy Cliff
Will Hoge
Neko Case
Saint Motel
Iron & Wine
John & Jacob
Dr. John
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
Punch Brothers
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
Rainey Qualley

“The music and arts event is far from just a country concert. Indie rock acts the Decemberists and Weezer, along with Americana darlings Neko Case and Iron & Wine…” – Rolling Stone

“Another music festival is making its debut — this one outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and paying homage to history.” – Associated Press

“New Franklin outing the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival now holds the distinction as being the closest major (non-country) music fest to Nashville proper.” – No Country for New Nashville

Cage the Elephant web


Better Than Ezra’s ‘Ezra Open’ Embraces Baton Rouge

by Christine Samarchi on July 25, 2014

Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin at the 2014 Ezra Open    photo by Frank Aymami Better Than Ezra’s Kevin Griffin at the 2014 Ezra Open | photo by Frank Aymami

Mark August 16 on your calendars for The Better Than Ezra Foundation’s first Ezra Open fundraiser in Baton Rouge. In a press release on Monday, the band announced the event, inviting people to join them at L’Auberge Casino Hotel for Rock-n-Roll Mini Golf, a silent auction, open bar and food, and a special acoustic performance by Better Than Ezra. All proceeds will benefit after school arts and education programs in the Baton Rouge area.

Their foundation has raised over $1,250,000 at various events for different causes. Most of their fundraisers have been in New Orleans, but they’ve done past events in Houston and Dallas. For example, they performed at the Dallas House of Blues to support Booker T. Washington, a magnet high school that teaches a complete curriculum in academics and the arts.

The Better Than Ezra Foundation is committed to support and raise funds for the cultural heritage of New Orleans and Southern Louisiana. They focus on reaching children from families who struggle financially through various programs, including rebuilding Bethune Elementary’s playground and funding the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) where they offer education in dance, music and media arts.

The band has deep-roots in Baton Rouge since their college days at LSU where they started the band. For more info about their event at L’Auberge Baton Rouge and to purchase tickets, go to