Big Ears Festival to Take Over Knoxville in March

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The weekend of March 24-27, 2022 will be a big one for Knoxville, Tennessee. Big Ears Festival will return to the city with more than 100 concerts over the four-day event. Acts include composers, instrumentalists, improvisers and DJs, bands, icons, and upstarts, catering to a wide range of interests and musical adventurers. 

On October 26, Big Ears announced the second wave of artists and performers. Heading up the list is world-renowned rock legend Patti Smith, who will be hosting an evening of readings and acoustic performance titled Words & Music, as well as playing an all-out rock show with her band. 

Other big-ticket names include Sparks, Kim Gordon, Meredith Monk, and John Zorn, who will be playing not one, but eight concerts showcasing his recent music. In addition to the star-studded music lineup, there will be films, talks, exhibitions, readings, and workshops in more than a dozen venues in historic downtown Knoxville, according to the festival’s latest press release. 

This will be Big Ear’s first in-person festival since 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the 2020 festival and halting plans for 2021. After a two-year hiatus, the festival is coming back stronger than ever.

“We’re grateful to the extraordinary community of fans and supporters who have helped make Big Ears the unique, one-of-a-kind experience that it is,” says Founder and Executive Director, Ashley Capps in the press release. “We had sold out in advance, for the first time, when the pandemic forced us to cancel the 2020 festival. Many pass holders donated their tickets—rather than taking a refund—to help ensure our survival. At long last, we’re back and the response has been phenomenal … with Big Ears selling in its first three days what took three months even in 2020. Affirmation like that inspires us to create the most amazing festival experience we can possibly imagine.”


Photo courtesy of Big Ears Festival.

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