BIG EARS 2018 is coming MARCH 22-25; once again, Knoxville blesses the world with a feast of extraordinary and ear opening musical happenings. Check out the lineup!

THIS JUST IN: RHIANNON GIDDENS announced as the Keynote Speaker of the Big Ears Festival!

Saturday, March 24 / 11am-12:30pm / Tennessee Theatre

The legendary ROSCOE MITCHELL has been added to the schedule! His “Trios” show will combine four different three-piece lineups!

If there were ever a mystery as to how Roscoe Mitchell, the pioneering saxophonist and improviser, continues to make vital and interesting music into his late seventies, the liner notes for 2017’s staggering and gigantic ‘Bells for the South Side’ offer important clues. Mitchell writes of a friend who was hosting a solo house concert by the young percussionist and composer Tyshawn Sorey and asked Mitchell to sit in. That was the first time Mitchell met Sorey, and he was so stunned that they’ve since become consistent collaborators. Likewise, when Mitchell was scheduled to play a gig at London’s Café Oto, he not only read an email from Kikanju Baku, another young drummer who wanted to join him for the set, but he listened to him. Mitchell said yes, and they too have continued to work together. Mitchell—a artistic titan, with nothing to prove—remains open to new experiences and ideas, to what fresh perspectives can bring to his work. Or, as he told The New York Times of his enthusiasm for hip-hop, “I calm myself down and tune in to what’s going on.”

“Big Ears is one of the most quietly earth-shattering, subtly luminous festivals the world over,” – Oxford American

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire,” – Gustav Mahler

Declared “one of the country’s most audacious musical experiments” by Vice and “the classiest, most diverse festival in the country” by Rolling Stone, the Knoxville, TN Big Ears Festival is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance and the visual arts. We’re elated to remind you that the Big Ears lineup is out now, and tickets will be available Friday, November 3 at 10am ET via

And there have been more performances added by Ikue Mori, John Haywood, Jon Balke, Jon Gibson, Ned Rothenberg, Okkyung Lee, Susan Alcorn and Yuka C. Honda!


A letter from Big Ears founder and Artistic Director, Ashley Capps:

Dear Big Ears friends and supporters,

Summer has started to fade away and here we are – a mere 6 months from Big Ears 2018. First of all, we want to thank all of you who attended Big Ears in 2017 and helped to make it such an inspiring and unforgettable occasion. We’re especially appreciative to everyone who has taken time to share your experiences and feedback – and to respond to our annual survey. Your enthusiasm and suggestions are invaluable in helping us to continue to evolve the Big Ears experience. We couldn’t be more excited for 2018! For months now, the Big Ears team – and our growing family of co-conspirators and collaborators – have been shaping and curating a kaleidoscopic array of performances and experiences for the weekend of March 22-25. We can’t wait to tell you what’s in store. While our initial lineup announcement is only a very few weeks away – perhaps sooner – we can’t help but start sharing some of what’s in store – a few tantalizing hints and tidbits of information – between now and then. So…as a Big Ears newsletter subscriber, this is your first tip for 2018 and we hope you’ll continue to pay attention to things as they unfold on Big Ears’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  As always, we want to thank you for your enthusiasm, passion, curiosity, and support for Big Ears. It’s your engagement and participation that make it all possible. We’re looking forward to seeing you again in the spring of 2018 as we join together in another border-crossing, boundary-erasing, surprise-filled cultural and social adventure in downtown Knoxville.

Peace – and happy listening, Ashley Capps


Named for someone who is capable of discerning and perceptive listening, who has the ability to use the ears as a creative tool or who hears things many may miss, the Big Ears Festival is a weekend of world-class musical performances in beautiful historic theaters, clubs, galleries, and museums, combined with talks and discussions, interactive workshops, installations, exhibitions, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected connections.  It celebrates the never-ending adventure of artistic creation and exploration. From 100+ spellbinding performances to rare film screenings, artist discussions to explorations of poetry and literature, art exhibitions to secret shows and pop-ups, Big Ears 2017 was filled to the brim with unique experiences. Revisit highlights from the 2017 festival below, and join us in the spring of 2018 for another boundary-erasing cultural adventure in downtown Knoxville.


  • Marantz TT1060 semi-automatic turntable
    Here’s a nice entry level table that will severely outperform any newer table even close to it’s price point. The Marantz TT1060 is a semi-automatic table which means the tonearm will return to rest at the end of play.
  • Technics TT SL 1800 turntable
    Technics SL-1800 full manual direct drive turntable, circa 1977. This table is a heavy beast with a very strong motor. A new stylus has been installed on the Stanton cartridge and sounds fantastic. All tonearm features have been set correctly and the stylus tracks at a recommended 3 grams
  • Realistic Lab 430 Direct Drive Turntable
    Very nice inexpensive table with the benefit of direct drive (no belts to change) and auto return. The table has been thoroughly gone through and all features work as they should. A new elliptical stylus has been mounted on the Shure cartridge and balanced correctly.
  • Sonamp 260 from SONANCE
    Soooo nice! This super nice, modestly priced 100 watt per channel power amp has been all checked out and works great. It’s cost effective way to run lots of power!
  • Technics SL-210 full manual turntable
    The table has been thoroughly inspected and gone through with all features working correctly. This is a full manual table, simply turn the table on and move the stylus to the record surface, no auto features to adjust or be concerned with. The new stylus sounds great, is readily available and super affordable. A nice survivor from 1978!
    A new stylus has been installed on the vintage AT cartridge and all features of the table work perfectly!
  • EPI A110 SPEAKERS: 2-way, classic bookshelf charmers! Sound great, woofers rebuilt like new!
    2-way, classic bookshelf charmers! Sound great, woofers rebuilt like new. Circa 1980’s Epicure Productions vintage feature 8”woofers. Critically acclaimed in their day and still sound good, audiophile delivery without the high dollar price. Full-on ready, great sound, woofers rebuilt like new!
    So fresh and so clean! This deck is in great shape and sounds like a champ. Bust out those old bootlegs and mixed tapes.
    Unit is in really nice physical condition. Recently gone through, tested and checked, all functions have been tested and work great! ready to rock with a pre-amp!
  • ADVENT LAUREATE Mini Tower Speakers
    amazing sound, brilliant natural refined listening experience. woofers on both speakers just completely rebuilt better than new! The Advents, both large and small, sounded pretty good and gave excellent value for the money. The company was one of a long string of companies that descended from the original Acoustic Research (AR). Advents eventually lost their enormous popularity and nearly faded away. International Jensen, a company based in the Chicago suburbs, rescued Advent and resurrected it. The Advent model we tested deserves a Ph.D. Advent appropriately names it the Laureate. The Laureate overwhelmed my skepticism that a modestly priced floor-standing loudspeaker could deliver good sound
    Excellent working and sounding Sansui SR-525 full manual direct drive turntable. A new stylus has been installed, and the cartridge has been properly aligned in the headshell according to Sansui specifications. This is a very heavy table with great Sansui build quality.
    A classic “hoss” circa 1983/84. 100 watts per channel! Has phono input.
  • Fisher REC 727 AV Receiver
    This Fisher A/V receiver has phono input, remote and 200 watts! Fire it up bro!
  • Marantz REC SR 225
    This super vintage budget receiver is the perfect starter unit for someone wanting to explore the world of hi fidelity sounds. It’s been all checked out and has a clean bill of health; and with phono input so it’s good to go with any classic turntable.
  • Sansui SPEAKERS SP 2000
    These Sansui SP-2000 speakers from the 70s are some awesome vintage rockers! These big boys have a four way/six driver configuration plus a bass port. They have been tested and sound great.
  • BOZAK CS4000 mod speakers, omg!! these big-boys ROCK!
    8 tweeters, 1 midrange and 2 woofers per. all original, very clean. extremely rare and VERY AMAZING sound!
    The essentially crossoverless design gives the 901 an unmistakable coherence, the model’s greatest strength. Its incredibly wide dispersion comes in a close second. The Bose 901s sound great anywhere in the room, After extensive listening, the Bose 901s strike me as being damn good. They have some limitations, but don’t all $1,400 speakers? For that matter, what $10,000 speakers are perfect? They are so smooth and musical.
  • Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers, 2 way plus bass port
    You can enlarge your sound while shrinking the speakers with a reliable bookshelf system. The Polk Audio T15 speakers can blend into the background while delivering impressive tone quality. It can be a superior system that offers balanced drivers and tweeters for a wide response with low distortion.