Big Ears Brought a Big Crowd
Big Ears Festival provided the city of Knoxville with an awe-inspiring event on July 8th, 2021 at Lakeshore Park on the Main Events Lawn.
The Big Ears team, along with the help of several sponsors, brought the community together by producing a single event showcasing film, music, history, and literature. The silent film provided by TAMIS, showcased 1950s Knoxville which Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree seemed to had fit far too well.
R.B. Morris, Knoxville’s first acclaimed poet, read excerpts from McCarthy’s 1979 novel while a group of musicians provided the night’s soundtrack.
The team at Big Ears worked with the Lakeshore Park Conservancy when they decided Lakeshore was where they wanted to host the event. While only expecting 500-800 people to attend, both Big Ears and Lakeshore took the world’s current climate into account when figuring out where in the Park the event should be. That’s when they all decided the Main Events Lawn would be more than enough room to fit that number of attendees and then some- ensuring that there could be social distancing if wanted. Little did they know that all of the extra lawn space was going to be utilized.
Attendees used the Main Events Lawn, the grass terraces, and the HGTV Overlook to view the film, the entertainment, and the wonderful views Lakeshore Park provides. With two food trucks and a refreshment tent, the event drew a crowd large enough to shut all three down before the film ended. Both Big Ears and the Conservancy have estimated more than 1,000 people in the crowd that night.
Noting the event as an extremely successful one, many have asked when Big Ears will be hosting another event at the Park and/or when the Park will be holding more events like this one. While there is no solid answer to either of those questions, it’s fulfilling to know that both organizations can work together (and with additional sponsors) to produce something that people of all ages can enjoy.