Source: Rolling Stone.
Not everyone in Knoxville, Tennessee, knows exactly what to make of Big Ears. “I’ll admit it. I’ve never heard of a single artist on this festival,” reads the top comment on last December’s lineup-announcement post on the city’s Reddit forum, a recurring sentiment among much of the city’s non-music-head contingent — from service-industry workers to cab drivers — over the past weekend. “There’s two reactions,” festival founder Ashley Capps told Rolling Stone. “One is completely mystified. The other is, ‘This is the festival of my dreams.’”
The summit for eclectic, envelope-pushing music, art, film, dance and more just celebrated its ninth installment. Capps, the festival savant whose Knoxville-based AC Entertainment company also puts on Bonnaroo, began Big Ears in 2009 as a passion project, took a break to regroup from 2011 to 2013, and has since presented it annually. From last Thursday morning to Sunday night, impossible-to-pigeonhole sounds from the jazz, ambient, classical, folk, punk and noise worlds filled the Appalachian industrial and college city’s downtown and bohemian Old City district, echoing out from 15 venues ranging from historic theaters to churches, museums, pubs and dive bars.