This has been a wild and exciting year for Big Ears – a watershed in our evolution as both a festival AND organization.  

We celebrated “Ten Years of Big Ears” – our biggest, boldest, and most exhilarating Big Ears Festival ever – with music lovers from all over the world joining together in a truly dazzling  journey of musical adventure and discovery, from Annea Lockwood to John Zorn. Then, a few short weeks later, our collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma, “Our Common Nature,” came to life in a breathtakingly beautiful and profoundly moving celebration of community and the power of music to offer hope and inspiration for a better world.   

Now, we will soon announce another mind-blowing program for Big Ears 2024 on Tuesday, September 12, at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.  As a thank-you to our donors and previous festival attendees, there will be a special pre-sale, prior to festival passes going on sale to the public on Thursday, September 14.

Planning Big Ears is always an adventure all its own: an exciting, seemingly limitless exploration of ideas and music emerging from conversations and interactions with artists, colleagues, curators, and music lovers (including many of you).  It mirrors the festival experience itself, leading us down countless paths – sometimes familiar, often unexpected – with many ideas bearing fruit, while some must wait until another time. 

We have improvements and changes planned for 2024, all intended to ensure that the unique and special character of Big Ears remains healthy and vibrant. There will be no expansion in size, and festival attendance will be capped at last year’s levels, perhaps even slightly lower. Other enhancements and procedures will make your Big Ears experience – from arrival to departure – more seamless and enjoyable than ever. Look for more details next week and in future newsletters.  

Mark your calendars for September 12.

Stay in touch! 

We are very grateful for your tremendous support and encouragement, along with the many thoughtful suggestions and observations that help guide the ongoing evolution of Big Ears.  

Ashley Capps
Artistic & Executive Director

Knoxville, TN · USA



Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.


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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.”