Big Ears Festival reveals eclectic 2017 lineup

Four-day Knoxville-based event promises Wilco, The Magnetic Fields, and a host of rare performances

Big Ears Festival

    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


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