Justin Timberlake usually dazzles fans in his “Suit and Tie,” but this weekend he’ll be getting down on the farm at the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival.
The four-time Emmy winner and nine-time Grammy winner co-produced this year’s festival and helped bring in big headliners like Eddie Vedder, Ryan Adams and The Avett Brothers.
The festival takes place just outside of Nashville, and only a few miles from where Timberlake, a native of Memphis, bought a 126-acre property two years ago. Much like Timberlake’s Tennessee digs, Pilgrimage is held on a sprawling farm with no skyscrapers in sight. Picturesque sunsets behind an old barn, and a low key, family-friendly vibe, are a big part of the event’s appeal.
“We love going to Bonnaroo and Lolla[palooza], but we also saw the need for a part of the market that wasn’t being addressed,” Better Than Ezra frontman and Pilgrimage co-founder Kevin Griffin told CNN. “When you’re younger, you went to Bonnaroo, you camped out, and it was great. But now you’re a little older, you have kids, you like a more refined music experience with great food, great wine, and a beautiful setting…but no less relevant and engaging of a musical lineup. Pilgrimage offers a more curated, boutique feel.”
This year’s lineup has drawn heightened interest from fans.
“Justin Timberlake and Eddie Vedder are two big pieces that are different this year, and when you have those kind of headliners, you’re going to sell a lot more tickets,” Griffin explained.
Griffin co-founded the festival with producers W. Brandt Wood and Michael Whelan in 2014. Whelan said collaborating with Timberlake has been a highlight.
“Justin has been great,” Whelan said. “He has been really engaged in the process, helping us with lineup choices and was collaborative with what the festival was going to look like, down to the food vendors and the footprint. Having him sign on to perform took it to a new level.”