The Big Ears Music Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee has been cancelled due to rising concerns surrounding the possible spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The event was set to feature a unique lineup from March 26th until the 29th, which was set to include the likes of Sons of Chipotle, a group which hosts former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, Icelandic experimental music group Múm and Kim Gordon, along with her Body/Head bandmate Bill Nace, John Truscinski and Steve Gunn, who were set to perform a live soundtrack to Andy Warhol’s iconic silent film KISS, originally released in 1963.
The event will be issuing refunds in the coming days via email, according to a recent statement sent by the festival’s representatives. Ticket purchasers can also choose to convert their purchase into a tax-deductible donation if they would like to support the festival.
Various music festivals have either been cancelled this year or postponed until the fall due to the concerns regarding coronavirus, which has spread over 100 countries so far, infecting more than 124,000 people. Events that have been rescheduled include Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho, alongside the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in Indio, California. The Treefort Music Fest will also be offering refunds to attendees who will be unable to attend their rescheduled event this September.
Other prominent music festivals such as SXSW and Ultra Music Festival Miami will not be offering refunds, although they will be allowing their ticket purchasers to use their passes for admissions into future event.
Read their full statement below:
It has become clear that we must cancel Big Ears 2020, scheduled for the weekend of Thursday, March 26 thru Sunday, March 29.
Just 48 hours ago, we were optimistic that there was a path forward; but with events surrounding COVID-19 developing rapidly along with the obvious need for urgent steps to contain its spread, we simply cannot move forward with the festival as scheduled.
This has been a tough decision. Not only is the principle that “the show must go on” woven into our DNA, but the impact of this cancellation on the community that makes Big Ears possible — the artists, the festival attendees, our staff and production teams, and the Knoxville community with all of its businesses and workers — cannot be overstated.
We will be offering refunds to all ticket purchasers (assuming you purchased your tickets from our authorized vendor, Front Gate). Within the next day or two, we will be emailing ticket holders with information about the process for securing your refund.
We are grateful to those of you who have inquired about converting your ticket purchase to a tax-deductible donation. This is indeed possible and we will include details about that option as well.
We are very grateful for the kind words and support that we have received from so many of you. We believe in Albert Ayler’s proclamation that “music is the healing force of the universe” with all of our heart and soul. A mere two weeks ago, The New York Times called Big Ears “…one of the world’s greatest music bashes.” We will be back to live up to that accolade as soon as we possibly can At the moment, it is too early for us to assess if we may be able to reschedule the festival for sometime later in 2020; for now, we need to pause and refocus.
These are difficult times. We urge you to stay healthy and do whatever you can to help one another and to make this a better world. We’re counting on you.
Please stay in touch.