… one of the world’s greatest music bashes.The new york Times
THE BIG EARS FESTIVAL BRINGS TOGETHER ARTISTS AND MUSIC LOVERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD FOR AN EXHILARATING, UNFORGETTABLE FOUR DAYS OF MUSICAL ADVENTURE, DISCOVERY, AND FUN.
Nestled in Knoxville’s intimate and historic downtown, festival goers are offered nearly 200 performances during the festival—at restored historic theaters, soaring churches, refurbished warehouse spaces, museums, galleries, and clubs—with pop-up events and performances, exhibitions, films, literary readings, workshops, markets and talks taking place in cafes, bars, hotels, restaurants, in alleyways and other nooks and crannies of the city. The festival experience is full of surprises.
A festival pass offers access to all publicly announced performances—enabling festival goers to not only see familiar artists that they know and love, but also to explore the music of artists with whom they are not already familiar.
With a very rare exception, everything—all of the venues, along with Knoxville’s finest hotels and award-winning restaurants—is within an easy, short walk of everything else, with a dedicated festival trolley service offering assistance should you wish to rest up for a moment and catch your breath.
While no two Big Ears are quite the same, each year the festival presents many of the world’s most visionary composers and musicians, artists whose work reaches for new heights and expands to new frontiers. The programming transcends generation and genre—bringing together iconic trailblazers and young iconoclasts performing and sometimes blending classical and contemporary composition, jazz, rock, folk traditions from throughout the world, pop, drone, avant-garde, ambient and beyond.
Previous performers and attendees have included John Luther Adams, Laurie Anderson, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, Gavin Bryars, Bryce Dessner, eighth blackbird, Bela Fleck, Philip Glass, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Milford Graves, Jonny Greenwood, Mary Halvorson, Jon Hassell, Vijay Iyer, Kayhan Kalhor, Kronos Quartet, Alvin Lucier, Roscoe Mitchell, Meredith Monk, Jason Moran, the National, the Necks, Joanna Newsom, Angel Olsen, Evan Parker, The Punch Brothers, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Wadada Leo Smith, Sons of Kemet, St. Vincent, Supersilent, Swans, Wilco, and hundreds of others. You can find previous festival lineups HERE.
The next Big Ears Festival is scheduled for March 21 – March 24, 2024.
This festival not only crosses boundaries, it completely ignores them.
it dances over their graves.Rhiannon Giddens