Kevin Griffin Shares How The Pilgrimage Music Cultural Festival

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Symbol Credit score: Ray Garbo/Shutterstock

Kevin Griffin is “cool as a cucumber” when speaking with HollywoodLife. On the time, it was once lower than 3 weeks clear of the 2022 version of the Pilgrimage Tune & Cultural Competition (happening the next day, Sept. 24 and 25, on the Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, Tennessee.) This 12 months’s version of the long-running competition featured Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, The Avett Brothers, Elle King, Jon Batiste, and a stacked lineup, however the Higher Than Ezra frontman – and competition co-founder – wasn’t sweating the main points. “In truth, it’s like summer season camp. Everyone begins coming in over the following week, and when it winds down, and we’re doing the postmortem, taking issues down and cleansing up the park, it’s that ‘unhappy finish of camp’ more or less vibe.”

“Me and my companions, W. Brandt Picket and Michael Whelan, had been lucky to develop up going to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Competition,” stocks Griffin. “And what Jazz Fest is, it’s a birthday party of the most productive tune, meals, tradition, artisans, and traders of the Gulf south — New Orleans has been spreading out —  and guy, you’ve were given indie hipsters and scenesters with children and households – and there’s a large basis, he Jazz & Heritage Basis, that helps tune techniques and other charitable organizations within the town — all the ones issues. I grew up pondering, ‘Hiya, all gala’s are like this.’ It’s family-friendly. It’s cool.”

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Kevin Griffin (Ray Garbo/Shutterstock)

“And, and attractive musically and family-friendly aren’t mutually unique. They are able to exist in combination, and motive I’ve observed, I grew up with it,” he provides. Such is the case with the Lil’ Pilgrims Circle of relatives Degree And Mare Barn Theatre, one of the most 5 levels on the Pilgrimage Tune Competition. Households can take within the attractions and the sounds of the competition right through the day, and be again in time to look Jon Batiste and Brandi Carlile shut out Saturday at the Gold Report Street and Middle of the night Solar levels.

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Higher Than Ezra (Robby Klein)

Pilgrimage gives its personal distinctive revel in. When Kevin relocated to Franklin, Tennessee, in 2013, he sought after to carry that “Jazz Fest feeling” to his new house. “Even in 2013, there was once already Bonnaroo; there have been already a ton of gala’s. However I used to be like, this higher-end, smaller competition revel in, there’s truly a lane for it. Perhaps you went to Bonnaroo, partied to your tent, and now you’ve were given a kin. Or, you’d like some just right meals, however you continue to suppose, ‘Guy, I nonetheless dig some cool tune.’ It’s truly cool what we get to do right here within the town. It simply clicks.”

Serving to this 12 months “click on” is a focal point on Americana tune. “For those who have a look at our previous lineups,” says Kevin, “it more or less adjustments. We’ve had some years that experience leaned Americana nation, like this 12 months. We’ve had some years that experience leaned extra pop, like Justin Timberlake and Stroll The Moon. After which, extra rock like Foo Warring parties and The Killers. And we simply more or less really feel what we’re into that 12 months, and what feels like that 12 months.”

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Occasionally, “the lineups simply fall in combination,” says Griffin. “Occasionally, it’s accidentally, and once in a while, it’s by means of design. This 12 months, we locked in Chris Stapleton and Brandi, it more or less set the tone. And we’ve at all times sought after to get Jon Batiste – and we is also one in every of his few public performances this 12 months. He’s no longer doing any gala’s as a result of he’s coping with his spouse’s in poor health well being. So we’re very thankful to be having him. However, this can be a very explicit land we’re going for this 12 months, and it appears like we’ve selected proper.”

Alternatively, what truly makes the Pilgrimage Tune & Cultural Competition stand out some of the leisure is the focal point at the latter part of the name: the tradition. Griffin tells HollywoodLife that’s no longer only a few “lip provider” or branding, however that the competition celebrates the affect the realm has had on trendy tune. “Now we have this massive tent referred to as the American Tune Triangle tent. And the ‘tune triangle’ is the triangle that surrounds the Mississippi Delta. For those who do a triangle from New Orleans as much as Memphis over to Nashville and backtrack to New Orleans, that area – from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee – is arguably the place no longer best American tune (rock, blues jazz) has come from, but it surely’s infiltrated the entire global.”

“So we’ve got this tent the place municipalities from all within the triangle — Greenville Cleveland, Tupelo,  Muscular tissues Shoals, New Orleans, Memphis — at even San Antonio with Tejano tune, all of them have cubicles there. And we’ve got Mike Wolfe from American Pickers curating the room with these kind of antiques from his personal warehouse. While you cross into this tent, it’s like stepping again in time. You’ve got other people talking about tune genres on degree, after which you’ve an artist displaying that. We truly reinforced the cultural phase this 12 months.”

“Now we have the Black Opry, which has simply been this wonderful power and group for black artists within the Americana and nation area,” he says. “After which on Sunday, we’ve got a Southern gospel provider simply to kick off the day. It’s a non-denominational simply birthday party of gospel tune.”

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And so I feel this 12 months already, I’m simply serious about it. I do know I’ll glance again with admiration for making the cultural a part of the competition this deep dive into tune and tradition and historical past. So as to carry that to other people after which to get to look what’s in their very own yard and show pride in it? And fostering it to a brand new technology is truly, truly cool. I dig that phase, and I can’t take accountability for it — it’s one in every of my companions, Brant Picket, who spearheads the cultural phase. And it’s truly cool.”

“We’ve been unabashed in our tipping a hat again to Jazz Fest in New Orleans,” concludes Griffin. “They do it so neatly —  the cultural phase, that DNA is set their competition. And, and we introduced that to center Tennessee in our personal distinctive manner.”

Click on right here for more info in regards to the Pilgrimage Tune & Cultural Competition.