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PHOTO: Rolling into Pilgrimage are (from left) Jason Skinner, Emily Skinner, Michelle Sheaffer and Brett Sheaffer. / Photos by John McBryde


On a sun-splashed Saturday to open the fifth annual Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, there was plenty of music, an abundance of food options and a plethora of vendors.

And stretched along the white-framed fence that fronts the festival grounds at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, there were scores and scores of bicycles tethered as their owners enjoyed the day. When parking can cost at least $20 at some perimeter locations and ride-sharing can get to be on the pricey side as well, many attendees choose alternative means of getting to Pilgrimage.

Some river enthusiasts enjoy the convenience of canoeing the Harpeth River, which flows just behind Harlinsdale and has a drop-off site. But even more — between 1,000 and 1,500 attendees, according to a festival official — choose to cycle their way there. Even Kevin Griffin, the brainchild and co-founder of the Pilgrimage Festival, said that cycling is his preferred method of transportation.

And on Saturday, that’s how Brett and Michelle Scheaffer and Jason and Emily Skinner arrived, each with their two children in tow in a trailer.

“We live about a mile and a half, two miles from here, so this is the best way to get here,” Schaeffer said. “We did this last year, but of course, we got to ride home in the rain. That was probably the most exciting part of it.”

Regardless of folks got to the festival, the crowds started picking up by mid-afternoon as attendees were arriving for The Head & The Heart, Lauren Daigle, Leon Bridges, Keith Urban and The Killers.

Music and culture continue Sunday with acts such as Better Than Ezra, +Live+, and the headliner, Foo Fighters.