Pilgrimage Festival co-founders said event drew ticket sales from all 50 states

Pilgrimage Festival co-founders said event drew ticket sales from all 50 states


Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival producers Kevin Griffin and Brandt Wood thanked city officials Tuesday for their role in supporting the festival, which this year drew ticket sales from all 50 states.

“Kevin and I have been spending all year handcrafting this thing,” Wood said at Tuesday evening’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. “Certainly it’s a labor of love, but we’re continually reminded of how fortunate we are to be in this community that you guys lead so well,” he said to the board.

The partners went on to present an overview of the festival, including demographics and attendance numbers.

“It’s got numbers festivals would, frankly, really wish to have,” said Wood.

Notable statistics:

  • Attendance: Saturday, 26,000; Sunday 23,000
  • Tickets sold: 27,205
  • Sales tax generated from ticket sales: $533,720
  • Gender: 59 percent female, 41 percent male
  • Average age: 40
  • Average household income: $96,000
  • 34 percent of patrons traveled in from out of state.
  • All 50 states were represented in ticket sales
  • Marketing: 45 million impressions

“People love rock and roll, people love Franklin. Put those two things together, and we have a very great media story,” Wood said of the marketing.

Griffin and Wood also presented several checks; the first went to nonprofit organization Friends of Franklin Parks.

“We have a very strong relationship with the Friends of Franklin Parks,” Wood said. “They’ve doubled down with their efforts and their vision for Harlinsdale and other parks.”

Wood said adding a small amount to ticket price allowed the festival to present a check for $32,205 to the organization.

In conjunction with Franklin’s Dark Horse Institute, an audio engineering and music business school, the festival sponsored a $15,000 scholarship for one student to attend either an audio engineering or a music business course.

Haylie Sampsel, a 24-year-old graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University of Indiana, drove to Franklin from Indiana with her mother and sister to accept the scholarship.

Brandt Wood, left, with Haylie Sampsel and Kevin Griffin, right/Photo by Brooke Wanser

“It was just a random drawing that I was hoping that I would win,” she said. Sampsel has “always been interested in music,” and decided to enter the drawing after hearing about it from a representative of the school.

Griffin and Wood also presented a check for $13,602.50 to MusiCares Foundation’s Senior Executive Director Debbie Carroll.

Brandt Wood, left, with Debbie Carroll and Kevin Griffin, right/Photo by Brooke Wanser

MusiCares is a charitable arm of the Recording Academy, the organization that hosts the Grammy Awards, and is based in Santa Monica, California. MusiCares’ goal is to provide assistance to musicians in times of critical need. Griffin pointed out the organization’s aid to musicians during Tennessee flooding and during the current wildfires ravaging Northern and Southern California.

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