The annual Big Ears Festival returns to Knoxville, Tennessee next March. For its 2017 edition, the festival has expanded to a 4-day format (March 23rd – 26th) featuring 100 performances from over 60 artists – coming from classical music, jazz, rock, electronica, folk, bluegrass, and beyond.

The initial lineup boasts Wilco, Stephin Merritt & The Magnetic Fields performing 50 Song Memoir, and Blonde Redhead performing Misery Is a Butterfly, along with Deerhoof, Stereolab’s Læticia Sadier, Darkside’s Dave Harrington, My Brightest Diamond, Xiu Xiu, Tortoise, Steve Lehman, Matmos, Colin Stetson, and Jace Clayton (DJ/rupture).

The program also includes a number of renowned classical performers, including jazz pianist / composer Carla Bley, British composer Gavin Bryars (his first-ever US performance), jazz bassist Henry Grimes, American folksinger Michael Hurley, and composer / reedman Henry Threadgill (winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music) with his band, Zooid.


GA and VIP Weekend Passes, along with the newly announced “Premier Weekend Pass,” are on sale now at

Check out the lineup as it stands now:


2017 Lineup:
Alvin Curran
American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Blonde Redhead performing Misery Is a Butterfly featuring American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Carla Bley Trio with Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard
Carla Bley with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
Claire Chase
Colin Stetson presents Sorrow: A Reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony
Dave Harrington Group
DJ Rupture
Emilia Amper
Frederic Rzewski
Frode Haltli: The Border Woods
Gavin Bryars Ensemble
Glenn Kotche
Henry Grimes
Henry Threadgill’s Zooid
Horse Lords
Jace Clayton presents Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner
Joan Shelley
Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Drone Mass featuring American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge | Aoife O’Donovan
Junun featuring Shye Ben Tzur and The Rajasthan Express
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
Lætitia Sadier
Lisa Moore
Matmos perform Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives (Private Parts)
Maya Beiser
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble: The Soul’s Messenger
Michael Hurley
Musica Elettronica Viva (Alvin Curran, Richard Teitelbaum, & Frederic Rzewski)
My Brightest Diamond
Nils Økland Band
Oliver Coates
On Fillmore
Philip Jeck
Rachel Grimes “The Way Forth” Featuring Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg
Richard Teitelbaum
Sarah Kirkland Snider Unremembered: DM Stith, Shara Worden, Padma Newsome
Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone
Shane Parish
Sir Richard Bishop
Six Organs of Admittance
Ståle Storløkken
Ståle Storløkken & Arve Henriksen
The Crossing
The Magnetic Fields: Fifty Song Memoir
Theatre of Voices
Theo Bleckmann
Wu Fei
Xiu Xiu
Yasmine Hamdan
Yuki Numata Resnick