We’re swept up in the excitement and anticipation for this year’s festival as the final plans are coming together. In these next three weeks, we’ll be sharing information to help enhance your festival experience, as we also share more details about the wonderful film programs, artist conversations, literary events, art exhibitions, and workshops. This festival weekend is shaping up to be another unforgettable weekend, brimming with surprises and special events beyond the already announced schedule of events. Stay tuned! And be sure to download the app, where many of the surprises will be unveiled as the weekend progresses.

The Hirschhorn Collection’s “Paintings by Steve Keene”

As a prelude to Steve Keene’s live painting appearance at Big Ears, the festival is presenting the debut of The Hirschhorn Collection’s “Paintings by Steve Keene.” This expansive exhibition of some of his rarer works will open on March 1 and continue through March 29 in at the RED Gallery, located on Jackson Ave in Knoxville’s Old City.

Beginning on Thursday, March 21, Keene will be “performing” his painting as he does most every day in Brooklyn, producing several dozen paintings a day, which he sells for $20 or so each. He will paint every day at the festival. Keene is also known for album covers, stage sets, and posters for the likes of Pavement, Silver Jews, Apples in Stereo, Dave Matthews Band, and more. More Info

“Y’all Don’t Hear Me: The Black Appalachia”

Also opening on March 1 at the UT Downtown Gallery, in a partnership with Big Ears and Dogwood Arts, is “Y’all Don’t Hear Me,” an exhibition highlighting the values and legacy of Black Appalachian culture. Curated by Chattanooga native Kreneshia Rielle’ Whiteside-McGee, the exhibition features works by native and local Black artists and poetry from beloved Knoxvillian Nikki Giovanni. The selected works exemplify the community’s enchanting beauty and give clarity to its unknowns. The UT Downtown Gallery will host a curator’s talk during the Big Ears Festival on Thursday, March 21, at 6 p.m. More info

Essential Tremors Features Beth Orton

The collaboration between Big Ears and Essential Tremors released a new episode featuring guitarist and singer-songwriter Beth Orton. Orton’s work in the mid-90’s helped usher in a new era for both electronic and folk music by melding electronic sounds with acoustic instruments to achieve a warm and personal, but also boundary-pushing, sound that still feels modern almost 30 years later. In this episode she talks about how songs by Sinead O’Connor, Sons of Kemet, and Father John Misty shaped her own work.

Beth Orton is at the Big Ears Festival at 6:15 p.m. on March 23 at the historic Bijou.

Listen: Essential Tremors- Beth Orton

André 3000 /Just Charles Tickets on Sale

A limited allotment of passes for these special events will be made available to 4-Day VIP and Premier-level patrons, today, at 9:00am ET. Remaining passes will be made available to 4-Day Weekend and all Single-Day passholders on Friday, March 1, at 9:00am ET. 

Last Chance to Have Wristbands Mailed!

In lieu of tickets, this year the festival is using RFID wristbands. Any orders for passes placed after March 11, assuming passes are still available at that time, will have to be picked up on-site at the festival box office.

You can register your wristband online once received, avoid check in lines at the festival, and head straight to your first shows when you arrive in Knoxville! Buy your pass today!

Knoxville, TN · USA



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