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“Sons of Kemet brought its exultant blend of carnival rhythm, club abandon and jazz improv to a midnight show … The set drew from a knockout recent album, Your Queen Is a Reptile, but with a spirit of freedom in the moment — whatever setting you think suits it best, it’s music made for a perpetual now.”

— Nate Chinen

Shop Big Ears!

Broadcast your love of music and support Big Ears at the same time! Our online store features a variety of designs from recent Festival years.

Knoxville, TN

Big Ears is deeply connected to the city of Knoxville. Each year, just as we delight in sharing new listening experiences with audiences, introducing visitors to our town is a point of immense pride. Learn all about this great city and explore resources we’ve gathered to help you plan your next trip!

Your partnership makes it possible for us to sustain, year after year, the extraordinary—and all-too-rare—range of work that sets Big Ears apart from other festivals. We can only do what we do because of you.


Big Ears shares the joy and transformative power of extraordinary music and art with tens of thousands of people annually thanks in large part to corporate, foundation, and government investment.

On NPR’s Jazz Night in America, host Christian McBride reflects on ECM Records artist performances at Big Ears 2019: “Three letters,” he says, “that have come to be synonymous with cutting-edge modern jazz.”

Big Ears is much more than just a yearly in-person experience. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and be sure to subscribe to our email list, for year-round opportunities to experience, discuss & share great music.

About Big ears

Big Ears collaborates with artists, audiences, and communities to create joyful, meaningful, and transcendent cultural experiences that defy boundaries, fuel curiosity, ignite the spirit, and nourish the soul.

About Us

What they’re Saying

Our Press

Contained within a walkable radius of historic downtown Knoxville…[Big Ears] creates its own atmospheric climate, along with a center of gravity.

Instead of sales metrics or star power, Big Ears contemplates the perceptual properties of music

At the silo-destroying Big Ears Festival, music liberated from the confines of category and overt commercialism.

The Big Ears Festival, which unfolds each spring in Knoxville, Tennessee, might be the most open-minded music gathering in the country.

There’s no other festival quite like Big Ears.

One of the most quietly earth-shattering, subtly luminous festivals the world over.

It’s no exaggeration to describe the Big Ears Festival as one of the most unique and eclectic musical gatherings one may ever be fortunate enough to encounter.

Knoxville, TN · USA



Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.


Discover travel, lodging, & dining options to enhance your festival experience.


Big Ears is made possible by the passion & generosity of our supporters.


Learn more about what The New York Times calls “one of the world’s greatest music bashes.”