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Knoxville's Big Ears music festival canceled for second year in a row

Festival organizers have already started planning next year's festival, for the weekend of Thursday, March 24 thru Sunday, March 27, 2022.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For the second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic has canceled Knoxville's Big Ears music festival.

The event is usually held in downtown Knoxville, at different venues within walking distance mostly in the Old City. It always attracts an eclectic group of artists and fans. 

Festival organizers promise the festival will return in 2022 and have already started planning it for the weekend of Thursday, March 24 thru Sunday, March 27, 2022.

"It has too often been a long, dark, difficult year. Now, at long last, as spring arrives, hope and optimism is in the air. Cautiously, but definitively, it’s time to move forward and embrace the future," said Founder/Executive Director Ashley Capps in a statement on the festival website.

 According to the festival website, it will be similar in scale and footprint to the 2017, 2018, and 2019 festivals. 

"We are deeply immersed in the booking process already and I can assure you that we will once again have an extraordinary array of great musicians joining us for a spectacular weekend. We intend to announce the 2022 line up — and put tickets on sale — in late-September or early-October," said Capps.

There will still be music. Capps said they hoped to offer a series of local, outdoor events that provided plenty of opportunity for social distancing, including a repeat performance.

First, we anticipate offering a re-staging of John Luther Adams’ now iconic work, “Inuksuit,” which we first presented at Big Ears in 2016. The performances will be free-to-the-public and are planned for mid-April. There are other projects under consideration that we hope to announce in the near future," said Capps.

In addition, they hope to offer some streaming programs.

"Challenges remain, but there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. We look forward to joining together once again in a rich and joyful celebration of life through the transformative power of music and art," said Capps.