Big Ears Festival

Downtown Knoxville
Knoxville, TN 37902
Downtown Knoxville
Knoxville, TN 37902
  • Date(s): March 18, 2021 to March 28, 2021
  • Location: Downtown Knoxville



While we had great hopes for the return of Big Ears in March of 2021, it has become clear that this will not be possible; however, we remain quite positive about the prospects of presenting Big Ears later in 2021. We have been actively exploring scenarios and making plans for the past couple of months. We intend to start sharing our ideas soon after the election.

These have been difficult and trying times — requiring flexibility, creativity, and lots of patience — but we’re committed to creating another unforgettable festival experience as soon at it is safe and feasible to do so.

Please check back for updates.

Over 16,000 patrons and artists from 18 countries, 42 states and over 2,200 cities.

The Big Ears Festival is Knoxville’s biggest, boldest, and most dynamic festival experience. Over four days in March, the festival features the world’s most celebrated performers and composers of our time. Big Ears is a weekend of surprise collaborations and unexpected artistic collisions, celebrating the never-ending adventure of creation and exploration. Effortlessly crossing the boundaries of musical genres as well as artistic disciplines, the Big Ears Festival features an array of world-class artists, including GRAMMY Award winners, Pulitzer Prize recipients, and MacArthur “Genius Grant” winners. Join us in March to experience 100+ performances along with a film festival, 12-hour drone, and an array of panels, workshops, and exhibitions - all in Knoxville’s extraordinary concert halls, listening rooms, clubs, churches, and galleries. The Big Ears Festival, a nonprofit cultural organization, reaches thousands of people each year through free community programming and educational expenses.

Attending media from over 40 national and regional publications including NPR Music, Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, Vice, The Quietus, DownBeat Magazine, The Wire, Oxford American, Cinema Scope, Knoxville News Sentinel, and more!


"The biggest, boldest lineup in the history of the fest" - Rolling Stone

"Arguably the most eclectic and interesting large-scale music fest in the U.S." - Chicago Reader

"The nation's foremost showcase for experimental music and sounds of heavy exploration" - Paste Magazine

"A premier festival unlike any other" - The Wall Street Journal

Big Ears Festival