On Sunday, Sept. 24, the second day of the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin, TN, featured a spirited crowd of approximately 25,000 people, marking the festival’s second sell-out in its nine-year history. Headliner Zach Bryan took the stage in the evening after a day of energetic performances.
The festival’s first day included headliners like The Lumineers, The Black Crowes, The Head and the Heart, Yola, and Better than Ezra, setting the tone for a lively start.
Sunday’s lineup featured acts like Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Tigirlily Gold, The War and Treaty, Ashley McBryde, Margo Price, Luke Grimes, Ian Munsick, and Charlie Worsham.
Nathaniel Rateliff and his band, The Night Sweats, delivered a high-energy performance that got the crowd moving. Rateliff’s bluesy rock vocals, combined with his impressive instrumental skills, made for a dynamic set. They played hits like “A Little Honey” and “You Worry Me,” but it was their signature song, “S.O.B.,” that stole the show. With trumpet and saxophone solos and infectious audience participation, the performance was a standout moment of the festival.
Margo Price, the Americana princess, graced the stage in a white, flowing dress, radiating charisma and talent. Despite recent challenges with her tour bus, Price delivered a silky-voiced performance with a country edge. She effortlessly transitioned between guitar and drums during a jam session, showcasing her versatility. Her rendition of “Tennessee Song” struck a chord with the audience, capturing the essence of the festival’s Tennessee spirit.
Ashley McBryde: Ashley McBryde, the tattooed country star, kicked off her set with “Made For This,” sporting a black denim jumpsuit and a contagious smile. McBryde’s performance was heartfelt, and she engaged the crowd with her self-love anthem, “Light on in the Kitchen.” Her warm introduction to her band and her genuine connection with the audience embodied the spirit of country music.
Luke Grimes, Charlie Worsham, and Ian Munsick: These three artists, Luke Grimes, Charlie Worsham, and Ian Munsick, added depth to the festival’s lineup. Grimes brought his own style to the stage, contributing to the diverse musical offerings. Charlie Worsham’s multifaceted talent and Ian Munsick’s unique blend of folk rock left a lasting impression on festivalgoers. Together, they added layers to the musical tapestry of the event, showcasing the depth and variety of talent on display.
Country star Zach Bryan headlined the final performance of the festival, delivering a memorable show that stretched the festival’s limits. One standout moment was when he invited a fan named Johnny onstage to perform “Heading South,” creating an unforgettable fan experience.
Throughout the night, there were surprise guest appearances, including Noah Kahan and The Lumineers, who joined Bryan onstage for a performance of “Spotless.”
In the end, Zach Bryan closed out the festival, concluding a sunny and music-filled weekend at the 2023 Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival.