Rob Rushin-Knopf Photos Courtesy of the Big Ears Festival

The Joy of Cattywampus

Since its inception in 2009, Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival has become one of the world’s foremost gatherings for music from outside the lines. But when it returned this year after a two-year COVID shutdown, it became something greater than a chance to hear music. Instead, it brought the Knoxville community together for a joyful, citywide celebration. Big Ears offers lessons in how to make joy happen for a whole town. This is the first of a three-part series in which Salvation South studies the Big Ears method.