Big Ears Festival
Our mission: We bring artists & audiences together to create and share transformative experiences.
Founded in 2009, Big Ears is a singular festival experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, effortlessly crossing the boundaries of musical genres as well as artistic disciplines. Big Ears is a weekend of world-class musical performances that celebrates Knoxville’s historic theaters, nightclubs, churches, museums, and outdoor spaces with concerts, discussions, interactive workshops, installations, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected artistic collisions. It celebrates the never-ending adventure of artistic creation and exploration.
Annually, the festival supports 100+ performances of music, film, and art over four days. Community engagement typically includes 50+ panels, workshops, and performances that are free and open to the public.
In 2016, Big Ears was hailed by The New York Times as “the widest-angle music festival in the country, bridging the spaces between the classical tradition, improvised music, electronics and guitars,” and by Alex Ross of The New Yorker as “the most open-minded music gathering in the country.”
John T. Winemiller, Vice-Chair
Richard Stair, Treasurer
Katharine Pearson Criss, Secretary