By SAMANTHA HEARN
Can you imagine meeting the love of your life at a Better Than Ezra concert in college, winning VIP tickets 11 years later because of your story, getting to meet the lead singer of the band that started it all, and be treated like royalty at the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival?
That’s exactly what happened to Amanda and Ryan Spiehler of Franklin, who were chosen as the winners of the #MyPilgrimagePal social media contest after telling the story of how they met and ultimately fell in love.
The two were at a Better Than Ezra concert in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when they met, beginning their love story that would eventually lead to having a child and living in Franklin.
In their contest entry, Amanda wrote that, “Hubby and I rarely get to go out anymore (#kid), and we are dying to see Better Than Ezra for the first time since college at a concert where we met.”
On Friday, Sept. 23, the couple picked up their VIP tickets for the weekend festival from lead singer and guitarist Kevin Griffin as crews worked to put the final touches on the two-day music festival.
“It’s amazing to me how many people will come up and say that they met at a Better than Ezra show or their baby is a result of a Better Than Ezra song,” Griffin said. “That’s all you can hope for as a musician that you become a part of someone’s life. Certain songs take me back to a certain girlfriend or a time in my life. I really think that’s the highest thing thing you can hope to achieve with a song is to be part of the soundtrack of someone’s life.”
The Spiehlers picked up their VIP tickets and will see performers like Beck, Hall and Oates, The Violent Femmes, Cake and more this weekend.
“We are so excited,” Amanda said. “We’re really excited to be the contest winners and see you guys (Better Than Ezra) play again.”
As a surprise, the top five contest winners all will receive general admission tickets to the festival.
“We called all the entries down to five top touching stories, and we decided, you know what? The other four were amazing, let’s go ahead and give them passes too,” Griffin said. “So everybody who was in the top five for #MyPilgrimagePal will be going to Pilgrimage.”
In addition to the Spiehlers, Whitney Miller Quandt, Justin East, Jaleena Ball Postlewaite and Capt. John Perrett will be attending Pilgrimage Fest as part of the #MyPilgrimagePal social media contest.
There are still tickets available to the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival, and can be purchased at www.pilgrimagefestival.com or at the entry gate. The festival is located at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin.
Samantha Hearn reports for Home Page Media Group. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @samanthahearn.