Described as “…. the ultimate environmental piece” by the New York Times, Inuksuit, is a 70-minute piece, featuring two dozen percussionists dispersed throughout the Botanical Gardens making it easy for audiences to enjoy the experience while maintaining safe social distance. The performance will be preceded by a presentation of Yaz Lancaster’s sequoia. The entire program will last approximately 75 minutes. Performances occur on Sunday, April 18 at 2pm and 5pm.


Located only a short 2.5 mile bicycle or car ride from downtown Knoxville, the Knoxville Botanical Gardens offer one of city’s most beautiful outdoor experiences and provides the perfect setting for experiencing John Luther Adams’ musical celebration of the natural world. For navigation purposes, the Gardens are located at 2743 Wimpole Ave.


Please be respectful of performers and fellow patrons by wearing masks and maintaining proper social distance. As you enjoy today’s performance, please stay on designated paths and leave everything as you discovered it. Help keep the Gardens beautiful by disposing of any trash in appropriate recycling or trash receptacles.

Details on 'INUKSUIT': Answers to your questions about the performance.

[+] Does it cost anything to attend 'INUKSUIT'?

No, the event is free and open to the public. For more information regarding how to support the Big Ears Festival and free programming projects, please visit www.bigearsfestival.org/support.

[+] Is there a difference between the 2pm and 5pm performances?

While no two performances of Inuksuit are exactly the same, each presentation will feature the same program — a performance of Yaz Lancaster’s sequoia, followed by John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit, each performed by Knoxville based contemporary music ensemble, Nief-Norf.

[+] Who is performing the music?

Nief-Norf is a multi-tiered, Knoxville-based contemporary music organization devoted to fostering creative collaboration among musical interpreters, composers, and scholars. As performers, educators, and curators, Nief-Norf delights in championing works from the established and emerging experimental tradition since their inception in 2005. Their flexible roster allows the collective to share their passion for adventurous programming concepts and interdisciplinary collaboration whether as featured soloists, chamber musicians, or with larger ensembles. Nief-Norf’s performance of Inuksuit will feature two dozen musicians under the artistic direction of Andy Bliss.

[+] What is the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum?

The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum (KBGA) is located on 47 acres of former Howell Nurseries, featuring walking trails, display gardens, unique and historic horticulture, and over two miles of distinctive stone walls and timeless buildings, just 2.5 miles from downtown Knoxville. KBGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. It is supported through donations and memberships. Thanks to members and local supporters the Gardens are free to visit and open to the public.

[+] What happens in the event of inclement weather?

If there is impending inclement weather, organizers will make a determination on safety and viability by 11am on Sunday, April 18. That announcement will be broadcast on this website as well as via Big Ears social media. Because of the quantity of musicians and logistics involved we do not currently have a rain date for this presentation.

[+] Where do I park?

There are two lots located on-site, both are accessed via Wimpole Ave. Please follow signs and designated parking attendants. Parking is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If on-site parking lots are at capacity, overflow parking is available at Community Evangelistic Church located just south of the Gardens at 2650 Boyds Bridge Pike.

[+] Will food or drink be available?

There will be no food or drink available at the Gardens. The Gardens does not maintain working water fountains. We encourage patrons to bring water and other necessities. Please ensure that all food or beverage waste is disposed of in proper receptacles placed around the Gardens.

[+] Are restrooms available on site?

Yes, there will be a limited number of restrooms available to patrons.

[+] Can I bring chairs, blankets, or a picnic to the performance?

We discourage patrons from bringing these items due to the nature of the performance. Guests are encouraged to explore the Garden and experience the piece from as many different vantage points as possible.

[+] Can children attend the event? What about pets?

Yes! This is a family-friendly event and we encourage people all ages to enjoy the performance. Dogs are allowed provided that they are kept on a leash and you clean up after them. Other animals are typically discouraged. Please be mindful of other guests during the performance and ensure that children or animals are not causing a distraction. 

[+] Can I take photos?

Yes, photography is permitted during the performance. We encourage patrons to share their photos of the experience on social media using the hashtag #BigEarsKnox or sharing to the Festival’s or Garden’s Facebook pages.

[+] Is the event ADA accessible?

The Gardens cover varying terrain with gravel and mulch paths and, therefore, are not currently accessible to those with limited mobility.

[+] What about safety and medical needs?

If you need medical attention, please alert an event organizer, Gardens staff, or on-site police team and we will assist you.

[+] Other questions?

For any additional questions, please contact info@bigearsfestival.org. We can’t wait to see you! 

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