By Ron Wynn
Less than 48 hours after announcing that the much anticipated annual Big Ears Festival in Knoxville would proceed in two weeks, the festival organizers announced Wednesday they were indeed going to cancel it. They joined South by Southwest and Coachella among recent events that have now been cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus and COVID-19.
“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,” AC Entertainment said in a release Wednesday.
“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.”
The Big Ears Festival has evolved into one of the world’s greatest improvisational events. Its cancellation is a huge blow.