Big Ears Festival 2023

Big Ears 2023

MARCH 30, 2023 - APRIL 02, 2023


For four-days in Tennessee, poets, bands and musicians come together in downtown Knoxville for the avant-garde Big Ears Festival.

Now in its 10th year, Big Ears Festival is the type of production that is a dream for a music and arts lover. This year’s event happens to be the biggest yet, with more than 200 performances, exhibitions and workshops scheduled across more than a dozen venues in downtown Knoxville, but the vibe of Big Ears is certainly more avant-garde than your average American mega-fest. Every year is a little bit different, but you can always count on Big Ears to bring together different generations and genres of musicians and artists. From jazz, rock, and folk—to pop, ambient and classical, when it comes to music, Big Ears welcomes the weird, the new and the different. People from Tennessee and all over the world travel to experience the plethora of performances, restaurants, bars and shops that are unique to downtown Knoxville. Ken Mujo, Dorothy Carlos, Terry Allen & the Panhandle Mystery Band, composer, conductor and clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, rock band Liturgy, singer songwriter Simon Joyner, and hundreds more will be performing during the four-day festival, along with film screenings and literary readings.

As a nonprofit organization, Big Ears strives to not just be a festival, but a place for communities to connect. Offering scholarships to students and artists, and free tickets to those who volunteer, Big Ears believes in supporting its community. The “people-powered” parade on April 1 welcomes the community to dress up and dance through the streets and does not require a festival ticket.   

The Specs

  • Roughly 30,000 people attend. 
  • Four-day tier one general admission tickets are $350.
  • Four-day tier two general admission tickets are $400.
  • Four-day premier tickets are $550.
  • Four-day VIP tickets are $850.
  • One-day tickets range from $115-$150.
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Tennessee.


  • There are multiple festival venues during the four-day event. All venues are within walking distance of each other, but there is also a festival trolley that will take you to and from venues.
  • The festival starts Thursday night at 6pm. 
  • Performances on Friday-Sunday will begin at 12pm. 
  • Tickets are non-refundable.

Here are highlights from Big Ears 2022:

BY Emily Brower