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03.16.2021

The Future of Big Ears: March 24-27, 2022

One year ago this past Thursday, we canceled Big Ears 2020 due to the rapidly increasing spread of Covid-19. It was both a very difficult and painfully obvious decision to make. Two days later, concerts were being canceled and venues were closing all across the country. At first, most assumed these cancellations and closures would last only a few weeks. Few imagined that one year later we would still be waiting.

Since then, we have witnessed and experienced unimaginable challenges and sadness and devastating loss throughout the world. In our own country, this has been accompanied by increasing political divisions and social upheaval. It has too often been a long, dark, difficult year. Now, at long last, as spring arrives, hope and optimism is the air. Cautiously, but definitively, it’s time to move forward and embrace the future.

The Big Ears Festival will return the weekend of Thursday, March 24 thru Sunday, March 27, 2022. It will be similar in scale and footprint to the 2017, 2018, and 2019 festivals. We are deeply immersed in the booking process already and I can assure you that we will once again have an extraordinary array of great musicians joining us for a spectacular weekend. We intend to announce the 2022 line up — and put tickets on sale — in late-September or early-October.

We will be active in 2021. For those nearby, we are planning a series of events, especially some that naturally lend themselves to a “socially distanced” outdoor experience. First, we anticipate offering a re-staging of John Luther Adams’ now iconic work, “Inuksuit,” which we first presented at Big Ears in 2016. The performances will be free-to-the-public and are planned for mid-April. There are other projects under consideration that we hope to announce in the near future.

Further, we will continue to offer some streaming programs, including a second show from our session with the great American musician and visual artist Lonnie Holley. In this latest show, Lonnie performs with an all-star band and he also talks in-depth about his process of making art.

Challenges remain, but there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. We look forward to joining together once again in a rich and joyful celebration of life through the transformative power of music and art.

Wishing you hope, peace, and bright moments!

Ashley Capps, Founder / Executive Director