BIG EARS

FAQ

Questions?

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT IS BIG EARS?

Big Ears is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission of Big Ears is to collaborate 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. The Big Ears Festival is the flagship event of the organization.

Toggle FAQ Item HOW DO I GET TO BIG EARS?

Big Ears takes place in downtown Knoxville, TN, located at the crossroads of I-40 and I-75, and is an easy drive from anywhere in the eastern United States: 3 hours from Nashville and Atlanta and an easy 4 hours from Cincinnati, Louisville or Charlotte.

McGhee Tyson Airport is only 20 minutes from downtown Knoxville, and is serviced by six national airlines with both direct and easy connecting flights. Get more information on our travel page.

Toggle FAQ Item WHERE DO I STAY?

Big Ears has partnered with Visit Knoxville to offer festival attendees discounted rates at select hotels close to festival and event venues. Check out the hotel portal here or head over to VisitKnoxville.com for other options.

Toggle FAQ Item HOW DO I GET AROUND?

Once you arrive in Knoxville, getting around is easy. All festival venues, downtown hotels, restaurants, bars, and shopping are within easy walking distance of each other. Knoxville has been recognized as one of “America’s Bicycle Friendly Cities” and bike parking is available at or near all venues. The festival will provide a dedicated trolley which will make stops near all venues. In addition, Knoxville is well supported by both Uber and Lyft.

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT TIME DOES BIG EARS START AND END?

Big Ears will kick off the evening of Thursday, March 30, 2023 and programming will run from noon until 1 AM or later for the full weekend, with the final concerts ending Sunday night (April 2).

Toggle FAQ Item HOW DO I PICK UP MY FESTIVAL WRISTBAND?

You—and each member of your party—must pick up your festival wristbands at Festival Headquarters before you can attend any Big Ears concerts or events (except shows advertised as free or open to the public). To obtain your wristband, you must show a receipt / proof of purchase from Front Gate or LYTE and a photo ID matching the name on your receipt / proof of purchase. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Passes are required for patrons ages 2 and older. Big Ears does not offer tickets to individual shows during the festival weekend.

Toggle FAQ Item WHERE IS THE BOX OFFICE?

During the festival weekend, the box office will be located at the Big Ears Festival Headquarters at Jackson Avenue Terminal (213 W. Jackson Ave., Knoxville, TN 37902).

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT DOES A 4-DAY FESTIVAL PASS INCLUDE?

Big Ears concerts and events take place in over a dozen venues, with capacities that range from 80 to 2,500 people. Admission to each event is on a first come, first serve basis – subject to the legal capacity of the venue. Patrons must have a wristband to access official Big Ears events (excluding events advertised as free and open to the public).
All weekend passes include:
• Access to over 150 concerts and performances in 12+ venues over 4 days*
• Admission to all official film screenings and literary events during the festival*
• Entrance to all official talks, panel discussions, exhibitions, and workshops*
*Subject to Each Venue’s Capacity

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT DOES A 4-DAY PREMIER PASS INCLUDE?

Premier pass holders will receive everything offered to General Admission passholders and more!

Premier patrons are offered priority admission to most official Big Ears venues. After VIP pass holders are given access to the venue, Premier pass holders will be granted access prior to General Admission patrons.

In addition, Premier pass holders will receive an exclusive invitation to the festival’s opening reception and advance notification of “secret shows” and “pop-up” performances.

Venues with Priority Access:

• Knoxville Civic Auditorium
• Tennessee Theatre
• Bijou Theatre
• First Baptist Church
• St. John’s Cathedral
• The Mill & Mine
• The Standard
• Old City Performing Arts Center

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT DOES A 4-DAY SONIC EXPLORER VIP PASS INCLUDE?

Sonic Explorer VIP pass holders will receive everything offered to General Admission and Premier passholders and more!

Where available, Sonic Explorer VIP pass holders will enjoy and dedicated line or entrance and are granted entry to performance venues prior to Premier and General Admission pass holders.

In addition, Sonic Explorer VIP patrons will also enjoy a reserved, VIP-only seating section (where available). This section will be held until 10 minutes before show time when the section will be opened to all patrons to ensure maximum attendance and venue capacity as well as to ensure sections do not remain empty during an artist’s performance.

Along with preferred entry and seating, VIP patrons will enjoy an exclusive, VIP-only “Secret Show” and invitations to other special, behind the scenes events throughout the four day festival weekend.

Venues with Dedicated VIP Line / Entrance or Priority Access
• Knoxville Civic Auditorium
• Tennessee Theatre
• Bijou Theatre
• First Baptist Church
• St. John’s Cathedral
• The Mill & Mine
• The Standard
• Old City Performing Arts Center

Venues with Reserved, VIP Seating:
• Knoxville Civic Auditorium
• Tennessee Theatre
• Bijou Theatre
• First Baptist Church
• St. John’s Cathedral
• The Mill & Mine
• The Standard

Toggle FAQ Item CAN I PURCHASE A DAY PASS?

Yes! Big Ears offers single day passes for each of the festival’s four days. Day passes will go on sale when daily lineups are announced, generally in November or December. Stay tuned to Big Ears’ newsletter and social media for more info.

A daily general admission pass allows access to all publicly announced events in all official Big Ears venues on that particular day. This includes:

• All concerts and performances in 12+ venues*

• Admission to all official film screenings and literary events*

• Entrance to all official talks, panel discussions, exhibitions, and workshops*

*Subject to Each Venue’s Capacity

Toggle FAQ Item IS THERE A LAYAWAY OPTION FOR PURCHASING TICKETS?

Yes! On the checkout page, you have the option to purchase your full order at that time or you can purchase using a “layaway plan.” Layaway plan is available for all orders including daily passes. Purchaser must agree to the Layaway Plan Terms & Conditions, including a default policy.

• Each payment is automatically charged to the payment on file.

• There is a $10 fee associated with using the layaway option.

• Can I finish paying off my layaway plan early? Yes! Details here. 

Payment Schedule Breakdown:

When purchasing between Sep. 12 through Oct. 14:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 21% + 21% of service fees due October 28th
• Payment 2 – 21% + 21% of service fees due November 18th
• Payment 3 – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 9th
• Payment 4 (Final) – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 30th

When purchasing between Oct. 15 through Nov. 11:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 21% + 21% of service fees due November 25th
• Payment 2 – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 16th
• Payment 3 – 21% + 21% of service fees due January 6th
• Payment 4 (Final) – 21% + 21% of service fees due January 27th

When purchasing between Nov. 12 through Dec. 2:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 16th
• Payment 2 – 21% + 21% of service fees due January 6th
• Payment 3 – 21% + 21% of service fees due January 27th
• Payment 4 (Final) – 21% + 21% of service fees due February 17th

When purchasing between Dec. 3 through Dec. 23:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 28% + 28% of service fees due January 13th
• Payment 2 – 28% + 28% of service fees due February 3rd
• Payment 3( Final) – 28% + 28% of service fees due February 24th

When purchasing between Dec. 24 through January 13:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase (plus layaway fee $10)
• Payment 1 – 42% + 42% of service fees due February 3rd
• Payment 2(Final) – 42% + 42% of service fees due February 24th

Toggle FAQ Item DOES BIG EARS OFFER REFUNDS?

All sales are final and no refunds will be offered. If you have purchased a pass and are unable to attend, you can sell your pass to another verified fan using Big Ears’ official ticket exchange, LYTE.

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT IS THE LYTE FAN-TO-FAN EXCHANGE?

The purpose of LYTE is to provide fans a safe way to sell and purchase tickets to sold-out events. Big Ears works directly with LYTE so that fans can safely sell or purchase passes from another verified fan.
Upon requesting a festival pass, patrons will be prompted to enter attendee and payment information. If a purchase request is granted, patrons will be notified by LYTE and payment will automatically be drafted from the associated account. Patrons are not guaranteed to receive a ticket even if one is requested.
To sell a pass, LYTE will connect with and verify a patron’s existing Front Gate account via the email address associated with that account. After account verification, select the passes you wish to sell. If a patron’s tickets are sold to another fan, LYTE will deposit funds into the seller’s PayPal account 1 day after event completion. Passes offered for sale via LYTE are not guaranteed to be purchased by another fan.

For more information about the LYTE Fan-to-Fan Exchange, please visit the support site here.

Toggle FAQ Item IS IT OK TO BUY FROM A THIRD PARTY?

Passes are non-transferable and the festival will not honor passes purchased from a third party. Only passes purchased through the Big Ears Festival website and it’s official ticketing provider, Front Gate Tickets, or via the festival’s official pass exchange, LYTE, are guaranteed to be authentic. If you want 100% confidence in your purchase, you should only purchase through the links on our passes page.

Big Ears box office will verify that only those who purchased passes are able to claim them at the festival box office.

Big Ears is not responsible for any counterfeit passes or wristbands purchased via an unverified or unofficial third party.

For you own protection, please do not purchase passes from any source other than bigearsfestival.org, Front Gate Tickets, or the Lyte ticketing exchange platform.

Removing a wristband automatically voids it (unless by accident or for safety reasons, in which case you will need to get a replacement wristband from the festival’s box office (this will require you to prove your purchase information). Festival security will check every wristband to ensure it has not been removed or passed between multiple people.

Toggle FAQ Item ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS?

Big Ears Festival is an all-ages event. Passes will be required for patrons ages 2 and older.

Toggle FAQ Item IS BIG EARS ADA ACCESSIBLE?

Yes, Big Ears Festival venues are ADA accessible in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, though the exact accessibility specifications vary based on the venue. We are happy to provide specific venue information upon request. Please reach out to the venue directly, check their website, or contact Big Ears ([email protected]) to learn more.

Toggle FAQ Item DO YOU HAVE A COVID-19 POLICY?

At this time there are no national, state, or local mandates or requirements to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination to attend events or large gatherings. Big Ears will continue to monitor the situation, consult with health professionals, and, if deemed necessary, reserves the right to enact policies and procedures to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our patrons. Any changes in policy will be shared via our website, social media, and email newsletters.

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT ABOUT SAFETY AND MEDICAL NEEDS?

If you need medical attention while attending a Big Ears event, please alert an event organizer, venue staff, or member of our security staff and we will assist you.

Toggle FAQ Item CAN I BRING A CAMERA?

Disposable and small digital photography will be allowed, but anything with a removable lens is not permitted. Audio and video recording devices are prohibited. Additionally, please be respectful of other patrons and the artists when using your camera. No flash photography allowed.

Toggle FAQ Item WHAT CAN I BRING AND WHAT’S PROHIBITED?

What’s ACCEPTABLE: Small purse or backpack, water bottles, camera with non-removable lens. Please remember, everyone is subject to search and a large bag may cause delays when entering a venue.

What’s PROHIBITED: Drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, weapons, firearms, projectiles including glowsticks, video recording equipment, tri-pods, audio recording equipment and unauthorized merchandise. This list is not exhaustive and venue or festival management and, at their discretion, may not allow other items that could cause harm to festival attendees, staff, or performing artists.

Any person attempting to enter the venues with any of the prohibited item(s) above will be refused access, or at the venue’s discretion, allowed to give up the prohibited item(s) before entry. Confiscated items will be disposed of at the venue’s discretion.

Toggle FAQ Item DO YOU ACCEPT DEBIT AND CREDIT CARDS?

Yes, bars at all venues will accept cash and credit/debit cards. The festival’s merchandise store will only accept credit/debit card, chip, or contactless payment methods.

There are numerous banks and ATMs located throughout the downtown area and festival footprint.

Toggle FAQ Item IS THERE A BIG EARS APP?

Yes. The Big Ears Festival app is an amazing resource for staying informed about all the happenings at the festival including a map, performance schedule, artist bios, and push notifications for pop-up performances and other surprises.

Toggle FAQ Item CAN I VOLUNTEER?

Yes! We will be announcing volunteer opportunities for the 2023 festival very soon. Head over to our volunteer page for more info. If you have any questions about the program, email volunteers(at)bigearsfestival(dot)org.

Toggle FAQ Item HOW CAN I SUPPORT BIG EARS?

You can make a tax deductible gift to Big Ears. Donors will receive premium festival benefits not available to the general public. Visit our Donate page found here for more information. To learn more about the benefits at the $5,000.00+ level, or to make a gift of stock or from your work donor-advised fund, please contact development(at)bigearsfestival(dot)org.

Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available as well. Please contact sponsors(at)bigearsfestival(dot)org for more information.

Toggle FAQ Item CAN’T FIND AN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION?

If you need more information or have additional questions, please contact us directly via our contact page or by emailing us at [email protected] Please note that any music submissions sent to this email will not receive a response.

Big Ears has partnered with Front Gate Tickets as it’s official ticketing provider. For any questions regarding your Front Gate order, please contact them here.

Big Ears has partnered with LYTE as its official ticketing resale partner. For any questions regarding LYTE or your LYTE order, please contact them here.

Still have questions? Contact Us

BIG EARS
Knoxville, TN · USA

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