By EMILY R. WEST
According to Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival organizers, nearly 15,000 attended per day for the event’s sophomore year.
“We are thrilled with how things turned out for our second year – just blown away,” co-founder Kevin Griffin said. “All the artists brought their A game, and the crowds loved it. A lot of memories were made here this weekend and thanks everyone for taking the time to make the pilgrimage with us.”
Pilgrimage Festival happened this past weekend at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm under the hot September sun.
And as thousands poured in, Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Ellie Westman-Chin said she saw it as a great opportunity for the city during the rest of the year.
“I saw a lot of out-of-town license plates, but that’s not how we do research,” Westman-Chin said. “Pilgrimage is such a wonderful event, and it is far reaching not only domestically but internationally. It gives us publicity and articles and that type of exposure because it’s A-list talent they bring to Harlinsdale.”
Throughout the year, Visit Franklin has partnered with the festival to help promote it. They’ve helped in the marketing efforts on Pandora and Spotify and with their efforts to make their presence on those streaming services to advertise.
“They are very proud to talk about the fact they are in Franklin,” Westman-Chin said. “When they run their ads, it is a festival that is in Franklin, Tennessee, and it is excellent exposure.”
Visit Franklin also helps with those who travel in to write about the festival, some from far reaching as Germany. They were also ambassadors to those who came from tourist bureaus in other states, like Alabama.
“We escort for lack of a better word,” Westman-Chin said. “We also try to take advantage of them being in this destination. And we educate them on Music City Roots and our different music venues and our house museums to give them the bigger overview of what we do here. But once we take them to Pilgrimage, we let them explore.”
Westman-Chin said they will continue to work during the next few weeks to figure out economic impact for the festival.