Even after 10 years, Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival continues to surprise ad impress with the diversity of musicians they bring together in The Marble City. With their announcement of the lineup for the 2024 edition today – this will be the 11th iteration of the festival – they are set to bring a glorious and weird noise to the downtown area from March 21-24, 2024.
Some of the headliners this year include Herbie Hancock, Laurie Anderson, John Paul Jones, Digable Planets, Rhiannon Giddens, Charles Lloyd, and Adrianne Lenker, and that’s just a small taste of the wild variety of genres on tap for these four days.
Big Ears is known for its special themed events, and this year is no exception. Those in attendance will be able to join in on a celebration for Marc Ribot’s 70th birthday and experience various concerts highlighting Nonesuch Records extensive musical legacy, as the label will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year.
Over this long weekend, there will be roughly 200 events spread out across a dozen venues, focusing on music, film, and art installations of all shapes and sizes. Coming on the heels of its 10th year anniversary earlier this year, the festival seems poised to continue its deep dive into experimental sounds, with a focus on musicians whose work defies categorization and isn’t bound by any given influence.
This year will have an increased focus on experimental hip-hop, with artists like Digable Planets, Armand Hammer (billy woods and E L U C I D), MAVI, Roc Marciano, FlySiifu (Fly Anakin and Pink Siifu), and Kassa Overall set to add their distinctive sounds to an already expansive roster of musicians.
There are some unexpected surprises here, as such the appearance of post-hardcore legends Unwound, guitar alchemist Fred Frith, Malian singer Fatyoumata Diawara, and a rare live performance from eclectic songwriter Robin Hocomb.
As always, the festival promises a kaleidoscopic collection of sights and sounds unlike anything you’re likely to experience anywhere else. And with such an extensive and diverse lineup, you can rest assured that their hard work for this 11th volume will provide ample opportunity to create memories that’ll stay with you long after the music fades away.