After a pilot in 2019, Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival will bring back its Sunday Service this year, inviting the community for an hour and a half of “rousing worship” to kick off day two of the festival.
“Music is about the healing power, about renewing your soul, about pain and suffering and redemption,” said Brandt Wood, the producer of Pilgrimage. “And to me, there’s no better place for a Sunday service than a music festival that really wants to celebrate music in all of its form and all of its genres, and that’s what Pilgrimage is.”
Wood said he ultimately credits Franklin and Williamson County for the idea to start the service because the local faith community inspired him and the other Pilgrimage’s creators to partner with a Christian nonprofit called I Am Second from the beginning.
In the past, the organization has had a tent in which they feature tapestries and murals of their message, the featured artists and more. However, in 2019, while working with I Am Second’s Angie Clawson and artist manager Greg Ham, Wood said they decided to take the partnership a step farther to help weave Pilgrimage into the local fabric.
“I’m sleeping the best when I know that the festival is representing the community that has given us the chance to do this,” Wood said. “So, this piece is important for that.”
Clawson and Ham brought in “heavy hitters in the faith community” — television personality and Franklin resident Kathie Lee Gifford, musical duo Louis York (composed of two Grammy-nominated songwriters and producers), and Rolling Hills Community Church founder and lead pastor Jeff Simmons — to lead the service this year on the Americana Music Triangle Experience stage.
Wood shared that attendees will be seated in church pews, and various relics on the stage will add to the “magic inside the tent.” And he is confident that the soulful element that the service brings to the stage will be carried through the rest of the festival by the featured artists.
“The AMTE tent has players … that are all coming knowing that the tent is a special place to connect in an intimate way, and I think you can expect, on any set over the weekend, that, [in] the AMTE tent, you will have a soul-stirring experience,” Wood said.
The Sunday Service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26, with gates opening at 10 in the AMTE tent.
For more information about Pilgrimage and how to purchase tickets, visit www.PilgrimateFestival.com.