Entertainment Weekly has your guide to music festivals around the world and 3 from Tennessee made the cut. Of course, we are a bit partial to Knoxville and the fact that they put the Big Ears Festival on their list is pretty awesome. Bonnaroo mastermind and AC Entertainment President Ashley Capps calls Knoxville his home. We are fortunate that Knoxville is also home to the Big Ears Festival.

Rolling Stone hails Big Ears as, “the most ambitious and avant-garde music festival to emerge in America in more than a decade,” and The New York Times says, “It gives concertgoers—in comfortable theaters, in a comfortable town without a lot of other distractions—as much power as a composer or performer in determining what music means…” .

Having attended the festival, I can say that the venues are key to this festival – more than the music will wow you. The historical theatres and other amazing venues allow the visitor and music aficionados to hear the music in various acoustic places. This festival will pique your interest in Knoxville and the artists.

One of the other festivals on Entertainment Weekly’s list is co-produced by the same Knoxville company. I can tell you that Bonaroo is an adventure in life as well as in music.  Entertainment Weekly calls it the “The happiest farm on Earth.” I’ll agree if it is nice weather. ha ha seriously Bonnaroo  wins. I have camped every year and, in all honesty, I was in the “media” section. I’m not sure what that means, but it was awesome no matter the weather and to see some of the most amazing artists in the WORLD is worth it. No matter the hour of the day or night, there was someone to see on a stage within walking distance. I’ve had friends take helicopters in, stay in rock star buses and some just go for the day. I bet if you ask any one of them, they’d tell you sometimes stepping in a muddy mess was tough, but their experience was like no other.

I can’t really tell you anything about the other festival that rounds out the Tennessee 3, but I am sure that the CMA Festival is nothing to shake a dobro at. Country royalty will hit the stage and so, for that, I’d try and see if I know anyone who needs me to carry their guitar case. Ahem, Blake, Miranda? No? Ok, back to the drawing board; I have until June.

Here is the Entertainment Weekly article so you can see their festival guide.


To learn more about Knoxville festivals.

To book your stay in Knoxville.