The magnificent Tennessee Theatre first opened its doors on October 1, 1928 and was hailed as “the South’s most beautiful theatre.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and honored as the Official State Theatre of Tennessee, today’s Tennessee Theatre has something for everyone: classical music, vintage films, dance, Broadway, and stellar performances by today’s hottest musicians and yesterday’s favorites.


The mission of the Bijou Theatre is to provide an excellent performance venue for the Knoxville community at reasonable cost for presentations including local jazz ensembles, smaller choral groups, solo and small instrumental groups, student opera productions and local musical theater. In addition, the Bijou strives to bring special cultural and entertainment events that will enrich the lives of East Tennesseans, stimulate cultural diversity, promote the growth of downtown, and reflect excellence in the performing arts.


Founded in 1994 by attorney Lindsay Young, the Aslan Foundation is focused on preserving and enhancing the natural beauty, assets and history of the Knoxville area and enhancing quality of life in the region. The Aslan Foundation has invested in preserving and restoring historic lands and properties. In addition, the Aslan Foundation supports a variety of Knoxville area educational, social welfare and cultural endeavors with grant funding.  


AURORA Nashville, a division of renowned audio and technology company THIEL Audio, is an entertainment solutions provider that combines award-winning production with today’s digital world for the ultimate fan experience. AURORA Nashville owns and operates a state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD production studio in downtown Nashville that provides a truly customizable experience.  From premiere live stream concerts to sit down interviews, record release parties and industry events, the studio is the perfect venue for artists to connect with their fans with high-quality content.  It is also home to their own weekly live-stream concert series AURORA Live, which has featured artists such as Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina, Muddy Magnolias, Rhonda Vincent, Jerrod Niemann and many more.


Jim Clayton, the entrepreneur and founder of Clayton Homes, has learned and earned throughout his life and now is returning to his communities by investing and giving back to those that have given him so much. Jim’s vision is for all profits of Clayton Bank to be distributed to the Clayton Family Foundation to carry on his dream of investing and giving back to the communities in which Jim loves and has worked and lived.



Named “one of the top arts-and humanities-based programs in the country” by the National Endowment for the Arts and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the Community School of the Arts gives inner-city and rural area youth the opportunity to unlock their potential through free lessons and classes in the visual, performing, and culinary arts. The school also provides all instruments and supplies, offers volunteer tutoring services to youngsters who are struggling academically, and builds long-term mentoring relationships to help students determine their futures.


Downtown Knoxville’s only wine and spirits shop since 2007. Offering artisan spirits, naturally made wines and a rotating beer selection. Follow them on Instagram (@dtwineandspiritsknox) for weekly specials and tastings.


Only Four Roses handcrafts 10 distinct and extraordinary Bourbon recipes, then mingles them by hand to create our family of award-winning Bourbons. Artistry such as this is how we survived Prohibition, The Great Depression, Two World Wars, and 40 years of exile from the US, only to be named American Whisky Distiller of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015- four times in the last five years- by Whisky Magazine. Handcrafted this way may be a bit more time consuming, but one sip, and you’ll no doubt agree, its work the extra effect.


We don’t need to be the only beer you drink. We just want to be the best beer you drink. #GooseIPA


The Joy of Music School provides free individual music lessons, classes and instruments to hundreds of financially disadvantaged children every week. All teachers, over 100 in number, are volunteers. Over 1,200 children received free music instruction in lessons and outreach classes last year.


The Knoxville Mercury is an independent weekly news magazine devoted to educating and connecting Knoxville’s many different communities. It is a taxable, not-for-profit company governed by the Knoxville History Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to exploring, disseminating, and celebrating Knoxville’s unique cultural heritage.


Founded in 1902, Lamar Advertising Company is one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in North America, with more than 325,000 displays across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Lamar offers advertisers a variety of Billboard, interstate logo and transit advertising formats, helping both local businesses and national brands reach broad audiences every day. In addition to its more traditional out-of-home inventory, Lamar is proud to offer its customers the largest network of digital billboards in the United States with over 2,500 displays. Its Knoxville, Tennessee division offers the most choices for your advertising than any other company. Please feel free to explore their website:


mailchimp_be_partnersMore than 15 million people and businesses around the world use MailChimp. Our features and integrations give e-commerce retailers the power to send beautiful marketing emails, automated messages, and targeted ad campaigns. And our detailed reports help those retailers keep improving over time. Our quickly growing team loves empowering small businesses, so that’s what we focus on every day.



Moxley Carmichael helps companies and individuals participate meaningfully in important local activities, causes and events. Headquartered in downtown Knoxville, they are one of East Tennessee’s premier public and media relations firms, providing comprehensive communications services to local, regional and national companies and organizations. 


Music Norway aims to foster growth in interest and use of Norwegian music of all genres and styles. Addressing the needs of the music industry, artists, ensembles and organizations, Music Norway offers support programs, competence building, facilitation of networking arenas and counseling – just to name a few tools that are at the organization’s disposal. Music Norway develops programs that fit a digital and global music industry, based on data retrieval, analysis and music export statistics.



The Norwegian Consulate General provides information on Norway to the public. They also facilitate cultural and educational exchanges between the U.S. and Norway. Established in 1906, they are the oldest and largest Norwegian Consulate General in the United States. Their office in New York provides consular services for 22 states on the east coast of the U.S.



Norsk jazzforum is a Norwegian organization established in 1997, with the aim of strengthening jazz music’s significance and its terms. Norsk jazzforum also serves as an interest organization for all sectors of Norwegian jazz. 



Nothing Too Fancy is a family owned and operated t-shirt boutique specializing in ultra-soft, vintage style apparel. All designs are done by local artists and all apparel is printed at their very own screen print shop located right here in Knoxville, TN. Shop small & shop local.


Water and grains are the essential components of making great whiskey. Our founders settled here for both the water source and the land to build a mill for grinding grains, laying the foundation for crafting Old Forge spirits today. We continue that heritage by stone grinding our own quality grains where they once did, combining old-fashioned methods of the settlers with the modern-day know-how of our Head Distiller.


Panasonic Hollywood Lab is involved with content capture, visual display, and larger venue projection in all forms for all sectors of the entertainment industry including main line studio production, themed entertainment, and live events. PHL was largely responsible for developing the Blu-ray Disc format, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra HD Blu-ray and, more recently, heavily involved in the visualization interactive evolution. Panasonic will contribute ongoing to the entertainment and media industry by making full use of its cutting edge visual, audio, and sensing technologies to provide customers with fun sensory experiences inside and outside of the theater.


Planet H2O is sourced from a previously undiscovered artesian aquifer nearly a mile below Earth’s surface using solar technology. Planet H2O’s premium water is filtered through 500-million-year old rock formations and has a naturally high pH and alkalinity. Planet H2O is bottled at the source and is totally free of tritium and all other surface pollutants.


The Public Cinema exists to share vital works of contemporary international and American cinema—works that might otherwise be unseen or overlooked by Knoxville audiences. Many of the films we screen are discoveries from the festival circuit; some will be Tennessee or regional premieres. Whatever we screen, our only agenda is to create a space for cinema as an art form and to promote discussion among discerning moviegoers.


The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We celebrate music, its culture, and the transformative minds behind it. Begun in 1998, the Academy has taken the core principles that underlie its annual workshop for selected participants and applied this curatorial approach to events, lectures, and city-wide festivals throughout the year.



Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Regal Entertainment Group operates one of the leading and most geographically diverse theatre circuits in the United States. The Company operates theaters in 46 of the top 50 U.S. designated market areas. The size, reach and quality of the Company’s theater circuit not only provide its patrons with a convenient and enjoyable movie-going experience, but is also an exceptional platform to realize economies of scale in theater operations.


One look at the dramatic natural beauty that is Tennessee and you’ll get a sense of what’s behind our passion for storytelling and song within our state. We’re experienced industry leaders, with the utmost appreciation for the creative talent and business environment found in Tennessee. As fellow artists, producers, thought leaders and innovators, our Commission team and its members strive to make sure your business thrives in Tennessee, ensuring our state continues to own all things film, music and entertainment. 


Tennessee is the birthplace of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music, that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”  Tennessee’s tourism industry generates $18.4 billion in economic impact, more than $1.6 billion in state and local sales tax revenue and more than 157,400 tourism-related jobs. Learn more at



Three Rivers Market is a grocery store specializing in local, natural, and organic foods, cooperatively-owned by nearly 8,000 East Tennesseans. Created in 1981, it is named after the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers on the eastern edge of the City of Knoxville that forms the Tennessee River. Like the rivers for which it is named, the co-op nourishes Southern Appalachia, creating a healthier environment, healthier people, and a healthier community, honoring the differences and commonalities of all people.


A downtown Knoxville landmark featuring a wide selection of pizza, sandwiches and salads with all house-made ingredients and desserts.  Also featuring 19 regional craft beers on tap and wine by the glass.  Be sure to check out our brunch during the festival on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10am to 3pm and our late-night dinner and tap takeovers by regional breweries.


The Quietus is an editorial independent music website offering news, reviews, features, interviews, videos and pictures.

ultima_partnersThe Ultima Festival is the premiere contemporary music festival in the Nordic region. The festival became a designated “knutepunkt” (cultural hub) in 2006 and is supported by the Arts Council Norway and Oslo City Council.  The 2017 festival held September 7-16th, aims to promote artistic distinctiveness, trends and innovation and to make music of a high artistic standard accessible by everyone.

UT_partnersThe University of Tennessee is classified as a Doctoral/Research Extensive institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Their students are taught by internationally known faculty who conduct a high level of research and creative activity. Faculty in the School includes artists, designers and art historians of national stature. The School also maintains Gallery 1010, Tennessee’s only student run, non-profit, off-campus exhibition space.

visitknox_partnersVisit Knoxville is your hub for all things Scruffy City! Knoxville offers the perfect blend of southern hospitality and modern development. Rich in natural beauty, this diverse and historic city surprises visitors with its sophisticated mix of culture. It’s the big city with little attitude, where everyone is treated like a local.

vkfilm_partnersThe mission of the Visit Knoxville Film Office is to strengthen Knoxville’s economy through the promotion of the city as a premiere filming location. By attracting motion media companies to Knoxville through the marketing of our locations, accommodations, services, crew, and talent, we can foster the creation of jobs in the area, stimulate business opportunities and generate exposure.


The Wire is an independent, monthly music magazine covering a wide range of alternative, underground and non-mainstream music. The Wire celebrates and interrogates the most visionary and inspiring, subversive and radical, marginalized and undervalued musicians on the planet, past and present, in the realms of avant rock, electronica, hiphop, new jazz, modern composition, traditional musics and beyond. Passionate, intelligent and provocative, The Wire wages war on the mundane and the mediocre. Its office is based in London, but it serves an international readership.



Considered a public service component of the University of Tennessee, the mission of WUOT is to inform, educate, entertain and enhance the lives of listeners and others they serve. WUOT provides programming and other services that respond to the diverse interests in their listening area.

Thank you to all of our partners whose support makes Big Ears possible. If you are interested in partnering or supporting the event in any way, please email