Organizers of the 2020 Pilgrimage Festival, which was set to be held just outside Nashville this fall, have announced the event’s cancellation citing difficulties associated with COVID-19.
Releasing an official statement earlier this week, festival co-producer Brandt Wood says plans to hold the fest September 26-27 at The Park at Harlinsdale Farms in Franklin, Tennessee, have been scrapped. It would have been the rock and roots-music festival’s sixth year, but uncertainty over public safety (and competition from other festivals) have forced the Pilgrimage team to refocus on 2021.
“With pieces in place, we were fully ready to accelerate preparations to host the festival this year. However, it became clear that the assurance for public safety would be difficult at best, and we needed to postpone until 2021,” Wood says. “We had sincerely hoped that Pilgrimage would serve its annual role to bring the community out to celebrate music and, particularly this year, to celebrate coming back together. Alas, the circumstances require us to look to next year for this.”
The festival had yet to announce a lineup for 2020 or make general tickets available, but those who bought Early Bird Passes have the option to use those passes in 2021 or get a refund. Along with coronavirus concerns, this year’s festival would have been going up against the much larger Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, as it was rescheduled for the same weekend as Pilgrimage.
Past lineups have featured the Foo Fighters, Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson and festival co-producer, Justin Timberlake, among others, and 2020 is sadly not the first time Pilgrimage has been forced to overcome adversity. The entire 2018 event was canceled due to bad weather, and Wood has promised the event will return once again.
“Our goal of becoming an annual cultural institution has been achieved and our desire to continue to evolve the Pilgrimage experience is undiminished,” he says. ‘There is simply no substitute for live music and the healing power it can provide. We know people will be more than ready to rejoice in this experience again when the climate improves.”