5 Standout Moments From Pilgrimage Music Festival Day 1

Live music is back and possibly better than before. Saturday (September 25), the Pilgrimage Music Festival in Franklin, Tenessee, opened up its outdoor amphitheaters to music fans of all ages. With an impressive lineup and charming venue, Pilgrimage is proving that nothing brings people together like concerts and good food.

Read below for five of American Songwriter’s favorite moments from the first day of the two-day festival.

1. MAREN MORRIS

Maren Morris performs onstage during day one of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on September 25, 2021 in Franklin, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

Country powerhouse and member of The Highwomen, Maren Morris delivered a sensational performance that displayed the depth of her range. Morris performed tender love songs with her acoustic guitar, then shook up the stage with a booming performance of her hit songs (“The Middle” was one!). Morris’s husband, Ryan Hurd, also made an appearance on stage and sang “Chasing After You” alongside Morris.

2. BETTER THAN EZRA

Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra performs onstage during day one of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on September 25, 2021 in Franklin, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

Better Than Ezra‘s lead singer and Pilgrimage founder, Kevin Griffin, thanked the festivalgoers in the middle of the band’s set. A touching shoutout to the fans that have supported the band, and live music as a whole, throughout these past two years sparked thundering cheers.

3. HOUNDMOUTH

Matt Myers and Zak Appleby of Houndmouth perform onstage during day one of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on September 25, 2021, in Franklin, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

Houndmouth, the colorful alternative/indie band, never lost its connection with the crowd during its hour and ten-minute set. Their final song, “Sedona,” was an obvious fan favorite, as they sang the song loud enough to be heard a half a mile from the venue.

4. KATIE PRUITT

Katie Pruitt performs onstage during day one of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on September 25, 2021, in Franklin, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

Katie Pruitt kicked off the afternoon shows and reminded us just how much we love daytime festivals. Her expertise on stage helped set the tone for an authentic weekend where even the kids are welcome to experience the festival culture.

5. HARLINSDALE FARM

Day one of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on September 25, 2021 in Franklin, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

Last but not least, we have to note the idyllic nature of the venue. Held at the park at Harlinsdale Farm, the rolling green hills in front of each of the six stages are incomparable. The space encourages friends and family to spread out on a blanket or in lawn chairs for a unique listening experience.

On Sunday, September 26, Dave Matthews Band, Cage the Elephant, Black Pumas, and more will perform. Learn more here.

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