Downtown Knoxville’s Make. Art. Music. returns on Big Ears Festival weekend

Downtown Knoxville will celebrate and showcase creativity in the city center from March 30-April 2. “Make. Art. Music.” is a seasonal event by downtown merchants coinciding with the Big Ears Festival, one of East Tennessee’s largest arts experiences that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.

“Makers, artists and musicians are part of what makes Downtown Knoxville so vibrant year-round. We appreciate their talents and the participation of local businesses and artists that will add to the energy and excitement of Big Ears weekend,” said Michele Hummel, executive director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “Come from far away or down the street to explore something new in Downtown Knoxville.”

Dozens of local businesses will offer free events and unique entertainment for residents and visitors. Attendees can enjoy art exhibitions, demonstrations and music performances alongside Big Ears’ free programming including: a Saturday afternoon parade and street party, author talks, concerts and pop-up events.

No festival pass is required for the free Big Ears events or Make. Art. Music. happenings. Colorful graphics will be on sidewalks outside participating galleries and merchants throughout the weekend. A full list of events is available at and by scanning the QR code on “Love Knox” window signage at each location.

Some planned events are Able Trade’s electric guitar-making demonstration and discussion, featuring local guitar maker and Sherry Guitars owner Paul Sherry; Honeymouth’s Vinyl Night with limited-edition leather turntable mats, live music and opportunities for attendees to get creative; and multiple opportunities to see art exhibits and live music in downtown spaces.

“Big Ears brings some of the most discerning, innovative and interesting people to Knoxville. Now, it’s our city’s turn to show these artists and audiences what East Tennessee has to offer,” said Ashley Capps, executive and artistic director for Big Ears. “Make the most of your weekend by embracing these free events at merchants across Downtown Knoxville – you could discover your new favorite local maker, artist or musician.”