When you hear Big Ears Festival think just that — big ears, but also an open mind.

A festival that puts Knoxville at the cutting edge of the music world got underway again Thursday at venues around downtown. 

Big Ears Festival nationally acclaimed

The Big Ears Festival has earned critical acclaim from around the nation with performances, film screenings, workshops and art exhibits bringing fans and artists from all over the globe.

The creator behind the festival Ashley Capps says whatever music you think you like or you think you listen to, push those boundaries – because that’s what this festival does.

First held in 2009

Created in 2009 during a time downtown Knoxville was undergoing sort of a rebirth, Capps saw the 
Big Ears Festival as a way of being a rebirth in how we all view music right to downtown Knoxville, focusing on the connections between different kinds of music.

When the festival returned in 2014 after a brief hiatus, Rolling Stone Magazine’s Christopher Weingarten said ‘Big Ears 2014 is the most ambitious avant-garde festival to emerge in America in more than a decade.” 

The festival will host 100-plus performances over the course of the weekend, which is described on the website as a celebration “of Knoxville’s historic theaters, nightclubs, churches, discussions, interactive workshops, installations, film screenings, surprise collaborations, and unexpected artistic collisions.”

Click here to read the full list of artists and attractions.