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That's a wrap: Pilgrimage Festival showcases best of community in return

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2021 Pilgrimage Music Festival

Pilgrimage Festival attendees await Maren Morris’ performance on the Gold Record Road Stage on the first night.

On the first weekend of fall, thousands across the country made the pilgrimage to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm for the music festival that has become a Franklin tradition.

With plenty of other Tennessee music events canceled this year, like CMA Fest and Bonnaroo, Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival founders were well-positioned for a good year after difficulties in the past. The 2020 festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2018 event was canceled halfway through the first day due to severe storms and the weather’s impact on the festival grounds.

The weather sure wasn't an issue for the festival's sixth run in 2021, with beautiful, rainless skies and temperatures as high as the mid 70s and lows in the 60s.

This year’s sold out show was a positive harbinger for the festival. Staff bridged the labor gap by relying heavily on volunteers, who received a free festival pass in exchange for working both days, and Franklin law enforcement and emergency service workers, who helped direct and manage the large crowds. 

Pilgrimage followed suit with many festivals returning to the circuit in 2021, requiring vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours for entry for everyone over the age of 2.