Marcus J. Moore at Big Ears

Esteemed music journalist, editor, event curator, interviewer, professor, and author Marcus J. Moore returns to Big Ears for three exciting conversations this weekend! The first with Armand Hammer on Saturday at Regas Square Events (3:15 p.m.), the second with aja monet, also at Regas Square, on Sunday (11 a.m.), and the third with…, well that’s a surprise, but you’ll want to make your way to the Knoxville Museum of art at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday!

Read: Conversations with Marcus J. Moore

Free-to-the-Public Programming

Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of Art will be free and open to the public all weekend. The museum will host performances by artists Helen Gillett, Third Coast Percussion, and Fred Frith. Additionally, the museum will also host conversations with Marcus J. Moore, Hanif Abdurraqib and Chocolate Genius, Inc., and Henry Threadgill and Brent Hayes Edwards with Larry Blumenfield. There will also be readings by Hanif Abdurraqib and Ross Gay.

Patrons can find time to unwind with Wolle-Sonic Massages from Kenny Wollesen or with laughter meditation workshops from Laraaji.

The Visit Knoxville Visitors Center

Visit Knoxville Visitors Center is your destination for all things Knoxville. During Big Ears free programming will include WDVX Blue Plate and Big Plate Specials with Amythyst Kiah, Mr. Sun and Son Rompe Pera, and Joe Henry and Eric Mingus; Essential Tremors live with Jlin, Fred Frith, and billy woods with claire rousay; Critics’ Pick Panel with Ann Powers and Nate Chinen, conversations with Kristen Hersh, Alynda Seggara (Hurray for the Riff Raff), Sam Amdion, and Robin Holcomb, Ross Gay with Sam Stephenson, and Rhiannon Giddens and Davóne Tines.

RED Gallery

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 is at RED Gallery in Knoxville’s Old City. Festival goes are also invited to watch him paint every day of the festival, Thursday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Red Gallery.

Read: Paintings by Steve Keene

UT Downtown Gallery

In a partnership with Big Ears and Dogwood Arts, “Y’all Don’t Hear Me,” is 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 and also includes an ongoing screening of Moses Sumney’s film “Blackalachia,” originally shown at Big Ears in 2022.

Read: Y’all Don’t Hear Me

Downtown Comes Alive During Big Ears

Many downtown businesses are planning their own free art and music programs during the festival weekend. The Downtown Knoxville Alliance has compiled a guide to all of the exhibitions, demonstrations, and concerts being hosted by our downtown friends and neighbors.

Read: Downtown Knoxville Event Guide

Parking and Festival Transportation

There is ample free parking downtown that is free when exiting the lot or garage after 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and the entire day Saturday and Sunday. NOTE: Should you choose to park at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, this garage is NOT free and has a special event rate of $10 a day. 

Big Ears Offers a special trolley during the festival weekend with pick-up and drop-off points at or near all major venues. You can find these trolley stops in our Festival Map, which you can pick up along with your program guide and schedule when you check in to the festival. You can also find these trolley stops listed in our app, which can be downloaded on our website. We highly encourage you to use the app during the festival weekend to stay up-to-date on any last-minute messaging!

Trolley Hours

  • Thursday 4:00 pm – 11:00pm
  • Friday 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Saturday 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Sunday 12:00pm-10:00pm

Knoxville, TN · USA



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