BIG EARS

Press

From its first iteration in 2009, the Festival has been a locus of expedition, defined more by a go-anywhere ethos than by any style or genre allegiance.

NPR Music

Recent BIG EARS Press

Nashville Scene

Listening a Bit Differently at Big Ears Festival 2019

By Olivia Ladd //

Surprises from Spiritualized, vulnerability from Jlin, a look inside the mind of composer Nils Frahm & more.

Paste

Our Six Favorite Performances at the 2019 Big Ears Festival

By Lee Zimmerman //

“There’s no other festival quite like Big Ears … the Knoxville-based event has a propensity for presenting the unexpected while reaching well beyond any preconceived parameters.”

New York Times

Big Ears Festival: 15 Performances That Soothed, Jolted and Intrigued

By Jon Pareles //

“Instead of sales metrics or star power, Big Ears contemplates the perceptual properties of music: shades of dissonance and consonance, the particular qualities of a drone, the ever-changing applications of subtlety and brute force.”

NPR

ECM At Big Ears: A Boundless Label Meets A Broadminded Festival

By Sarah Geledi & Nate Chinen //

“ECM is observing its 50th anniversary this year and its largest celebration took place at Big Ears, where artists from its roster played some 20 concerts.”

Wall Street Journal

Big Ears Goes Electronic

By Peter Margasak //

“The annual Big Ears Festival again featured artists eager to experiment, including a slate of talented electronic artists who pushed the genre in new directions.”

Downbeat

Big Ears’ Generous Cross-Pollination

By Peter Margasak //

“With every installment, Big Ears feels more like several festivals under a single banner … But that segregated outlook misses the genius of the festival, which is about cross-pollination. Few festivals in the U.S., let alone the world, program such a broad array of cutting-edge artists across all genres.”

NPR

Jazz’s Bleeding Edge? You Can Find It, Briefly, In East Tennessee

By Nate Chinen //

“This year’s Big Ears felt right in tune with an emergent, exhilarating frontier. I see this not only as a hopeful turn in the festival’s model of inclusion but also as an indicator of present-day permissions around jazz’s state of the art.”

Rolling Stone

Big Ears 2018: 10 Best Things We Saw

By Christopher Weingarten //

“Nigerian party jams, a turntable orchestra, a cardboard box played with a bow and more from Knoxville’s annual experimental gathering.”

Bitter Southerner

Don’t Knock Knoxville

By Rob Rushin //

Rob Rushin explains the fascinating history of Big Ears founder Ashley Capps’ creative ventures. It’s a gem of a story and an important reminder of the power of art.

Downbeat

Big Ears Festival Embraces Jazz Experimentalism

By Jon Ross //

Jon Ross likens jazz pioneer Carla Bley’s compositions to “chapter books with new themes and ideas emerging on each subsequent page.”

ARTnews

Avant-Garde Tendencies in Tennessee: A Report from the Big Ears Music/Art Festival

By Steve Dollar //

Steve Dollar of ARTNEWS affirmed that Big Ears “reconsiders the terms by which experimental music can be presented to an eager, sophisticated audience compelled by seemingly errant tangents of art- and music-making.”

Wall Street Journal

Genre Mixing Down South at the Big Ears Festival

By Jim Fusilli //

Jim Fusilli described Big Ears as a “silo-destroying festival” with “music liberated from the confines of category and overt commercialism.”

BIG EARS
Knoxville, TN · USA

TICKETS DONATE

2022 Festival

Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.

Overview

Artifacts Trio

Lineup

Tickets

Archive

Plan

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

Knoxville

Travel

Tennessee Theatre

Things To Do

Knoxville

Hotel Accommodations

Venues

FAQ

Support

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

Donate

Donate to Big Ears

Partners

Merchandise

Big Ears Merchandise

Volunteer

About

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

Who We Are

Big Ears patrons at the KMA

News

Press

Contact