Front Row Focus | Festival Preview: Pilgrimage or Bourbon and Beyond?

Festival Preview: Pilgrimage or Bourbon and Beyond?

July 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

FESTIVALS: Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival (Franklin, TN) / Bourbon & Beyond Festival (Louisville, KY)

Dates:  September 23 & 24, 2017

Pilgrimage Festival Website:

Bourbon & Beyond Festival Website:

What do you do when there are two festivals, both with killer line-ups, conflicting with each other on the same weekend?

Pearl Jam 2016-04-16 (Greenville, SC)Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam (Greenville, SC 2016)© Copyright David Simchock Such is the dilemma one faces if they were planning on hitting up the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival in Franklin, Tennessee in late September, but then the announcement came over the interwebs for the inaugural Bourbon & Beyond Festival -- a three-hour drive north on I-65 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

To be honest, there is somewhat of an overlap with some of the bigger artists, with the likes of Eddie Vedder, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Gary Clarke Jr. playing both events, but each fest definitely has its own rightful claim to having the "stronger" line-up. Pilgrimage boasts of superstars like Ryan Adams, Justin Timberlake, the Avett Brothers and Mavis Staples to beef things up, while Bourbon has secured "classic rock" legends Steve Miller Band and Stevie Nicks to headline, with added oomph from Buddy Guy, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Joe Bonamassa and Paul Rodgers (of Free / Bad Company fame), just to name a few.

Mavis Staples - LEAF Festival (May 2013)Mavis Staples - LEAF Festival (May 2013)© Copyright David Simchock In only its third year, the folks over at the Pilgrimage Festival have done a fantastic job in attracting world-renowned artists, quickly establishing itself as a "must attend" festival in a very crowded sea of music festivals scattered around the country. Taking place in a a suburb of Nashville certainly doesn't hurt its geographic location and attractiveness to music-lovers nationwide.

In comes Bourbon & Beyond, with a crushing inaugural line-up that surely catches the attention of the same folks who have already etched Pilgrimage in stone in their calendars. Steve Miller Band? Eddie Vedder? Stevie Nicks? Woah. And, it doesn't stop with the household names. This is truly a respectable first-year music event, and what's not to like about the added dimension of Kentucky Bourbon sharing the spotlight with the venue stages?

So, what does one do to decide between these to top-notch music festivals?

Well, we like the idea of attending them both! Hit up one fest on Saturday, and then shoot up or down I-65 to check out what the other has on offer for Sunday! That's our plan, anyway. Now to decide which day to be at which festival. Uh oh. This is not going to be an easy decision. Any suggestions?





Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue - Ashevulle 2013-12-06Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue© Copyright David Simchock


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