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 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.

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 the free outdoor shows). 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 VIP include?

Our Sonic Explorer VIP pass is the ultimate sensory experience. VIP details can be found on our ticketing page.

• A dedicated entrance to official Big Ears venues.

• Reserved seating section (where applicable) up until 5 minutes prior to showtime, subject to capacity.

• Invitation to at least one exclusive “secret show” during the festival weekend.

• Special advance notification of “secret shows” and other surprise, “pop-up” performances and events during the festival weekend.

• Exclusive invitations to parties and receptions and other special behind-the-scenes events. (Invitations sent via email at least a week before the festival begins. Subject to capacity; rsvp required; first come, first served).

Toggle FAQ Item Is there a layaway plan option?

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 Breakdown (When purchasing between Sep. 14 through Oct. 12:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 21% + 21% of service fees due October 27th
• Payment 2 – 21% + 21% of service fees due November 17th
• Payment 3 – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 8th
• Payment 4 (Final) – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 29th

Payment Breakdown (When purchasing between Oct. 13 through Nov. 9th:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 1st
• Payment 2 – 21% + 21% of service fees due December 22nd
• Payment 3 – 21% + 21% of service fees due January 12th
• Payment 4 (Final) – 21% + 21% of service fees due February 2nd
Payment Breakdown (When purchasing between Nov. 10 through Nov. 30:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 28% + 28% of service fees due December 22nd
• Payment 2 – 28% + 28% of service fees due January 12th
• Payment 3 (Final) – 28% + 28% of service fees due February 2nd
Payment Breakdown (When purchasing between Dec. 1 through Dec. 19:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase
• Payment 1 – 28% + 28% of service fees due January 12th
• Payment 2 – 28% + 28% of service fees due February 2nd
• Payment 3 (Final) – 28% + 28% of service fees due February 16
Payment Breakdown (When purchasing between December 20 through January 12:
• Deposit – 16% + 16% of service fees upon purchase (plus layaway fee $10)
• Payment 1 – 42% + 42% of service fees due February 2nd
• Payment 2 (Final) – 42% + 42% of service fees due February 16th


Toggle FAQ Item Is it ok to buy from a third party?

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

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

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

For you own protection, please do not purchase passes from any source other than, 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 How do I get to Big Ears?

Knoxville is located in Eastern Tennessee at the crossroads of I-40 and I-75, and is an easy drive from anywhere in the eastern United States. Knoxville is 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. Greyhound also serves the Knoxville area. Get more information on our travel page.

Toggle FAQ Item What hotels are close to the venues? is a great source for Knoxville hotel information. We will be sharing more information regarding hotels for 2023 soon!

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 Do you take credit or debit 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 Will alcohol be available at each event?

Most venues will have a bar with beverages available, but some of the more non-traditional venues may not be serving alcohol. Patrons must be 21+ to consume alcohol.

Toggle FAQ Item Is Big Ears ADA accessible?

Yes, Big Ears Festival venues are ADA accessible, though the exact accessibility specifications vary based on the venue. We are happy to provide specific venue information upon request. Please contact Big Ears ([email protected])to learn more.

Toggle FAQ Item What about safety and medical needs?

If you need medical attention, 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 is prohibited?

What’s ACCEPTABLE: Small purse or backpack, water bottles, camera with non-removable lens. Please remember, everyone is subject to search.

What’s PROHIBITED: Drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, weapons, firearms, projectiles including glowsticks, video recording equipment, tri-pods, audio recording equipment and unauthorized merchandise.

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 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 Are there volunteer opportunities at Big Ears?

Yes! We will be announcing volunteer opportunities for the 2023 festival very soon. 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 Still didn’t find an answer to your question?

If you need more information or have additional questions, please contact us directly: info(at)bigearsfestival(dot)org. Please note that any music submissions sent to this email will not receive a response.

Ticketing question? Please contact Front Gate directly by clicking here.

Still have questions? Contact Us

Knoxville, TN · USA



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