Know Before You Go

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but Big Ears 2018 is happening this weekend, March 22-25! Visitors from all over the country — and the world — will descend upon downtown Knoxville to experience genre-defying musicians performing in 10+ of our world-class venues, as well as the best of film, art, food, and shops scattered across our beloved city. We’ve put together a snapshot of what’s to come… Keep reading and follow along our sonic adventure!

Secure your wristband and go explore

Weekend pass holders: If you received yours in the mail, simply secure the wristband to gain access to all Big Ears venues. This wristband will serve as your proof of entry for venues and performances during the event.

If you placed your order March 2 or later or you opted to pick up your wristbands at will call, you will need to stop by the official Big Ears Check-in before attending your first show of the festival. This also applies to daily ticket holders and international patrons. For will call pick-up, please have your tickets ready to be scanned when you arrive. The Big Ears Check-in + Festival Merchandise Store is located at 304 W. Jackson Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902.

Check-in hours:
Wednesday: 5pm – 8pm
Thursday: 12pm – 11pm
Friday: 9:30am – 11pm
Saturday: 10am – 11pm
Sunday: 10am – 8pm

Download the official Big Ears app

For the most up-to-date schedule information and alerts about secret shows, visit our website at and download the mobile app, available for free in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Marketplace. Stay connected by following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Don’t forget to use the official hashtag, #BigEarsKnox!

Check out the free events

From sacred harp singing to Irish jam sessions to improv sessions, special surprise concerts, panels, discussions, and more, Market Square, Knoxville Museum of Art, Visit Knoxville Visitors Center, Jig & Reel, The Pilot Light, Awaken Coffee, and more will be brimming with free events open to the public. Check out the breakdown of experiences including the poetry expo, Appalachian Happening, secret shows, and more here.

Explore the expansive lineup 

From Bach to bluegrass, classical to jazz, rock to folk, and everything in-between, this year’s lineup features over 100 of the world’s leading composers, musicians, and artists — including two recipients of last year’s MacArthur “Genius” grants and at least two Pulitzer Prize winners. Check out the full lineup and schedule!

Savor the local culinary scene

Knoxville’s downtown restaurants are in for their biggest weekend of the year… Join in the fun and taste the mouthwatering local eats and drinks in walking (or biking) distance from all the action. Quick and tasty options for meals or snacks will be available at Big Ears Beats and Eats at Visit Knoxville. For a selection of food and drink options near the fest, peruse this handy guide.

See you soon!

Knoxville, TN · USA



Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.


Discover travel, lodging, & dining options to enhance your festival experience.


Big Ears is made possible by the passion & generosity of our supporters.


Learn more about what The New York Times calls “one of the world’s greatest music bashes.”