Big Ears streaming sets from Mike Watt, Marc Ribot, Lonnie Holley & more
Like almost all festivals, Knoxville, TN's Big Ears was forced to cancel their 2020 edition because of coronavirus. They're now announcing a few October livestreams, part of their Sites & Sounds from Big Ears virtual series, to keep the spirit of the fest going online. On Friday, October 9 at 8 PM ET, The Bad Plus do their first pandemic performance from Knoxville's Bijou Theatre, a location that usually hosts Big Ears sets.
Next, on Friday, October 16 at 8 PM ET, Mike Watt, Mike Baggetta and Stephen Hodges' "post-genre power trio" mssv, who were supposed to perform at Big Ears 2020, stream a set from the "keyhole quarry" at Knoxville’s Ijams Nature Center. They'll be celebrating their debut studio album, Main Steam Stop Valve, due out on the day of the set via BIG EGO Records.
Finally, on Friday, October 23 at 8 PM ET, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog's socially distanced September performance from the rooftop of St. Ann's Warehouse will stream.
Tickets to all three sets are on sale now, and Big Ears has more livestreams planned, with Lonnie Holley, Marisa Anderson, William Tyler, Yasmin Williams, a 15-part Norwegian Jazz Festival, and more. Stay tuned for more about those.
The fest is also currently planning on returning in 2021. "We’re cautiously optimistic and planning different scenarios for moving forward with a live event next year," Executive and Artistic Director Ashley Capps says. "These are unprecedented times and, as such, they demand a creative response, the exploring of new ideas and the launching of new initiatives. This is the heart and soul of what Big Ears aspires to as an organization. It’s the essence of our mission. We can't simply sit around and wait. It’s essential that we do all that we can do to shape and determine our future."
Meanwhile, Marc Ribot is one of the musicians performing in person at Live on 25, a performance series happening at a private backyard in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He and Fay Victor play on October 29, and other dates include Greg Fox, Bill Frisell, and others. See the current lineup, and instructions on attending, below.