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Monday, March 17, 2014

Big Ears launches mobile app and rough schedule

With less than two weeks before Big Ears 2014 begins, the Knoxville, TN-based music festival recently unveiled its mobile app, and buried in it is a rough taste of its daily schedule.

First thing's first: the app is essential for those attending the festival. The ability to select and create personal itineraries from the "lineup" menu is incredibly convenient, but more so is the map feature allows festival goers to "lay pins" down on not only participating venues, restaurants, and shops, but on anything else available on the map. Another fantastic feature is the "radio" tab from the clickable menu, featuring some great tracks by lesser known festival artists including Vladislav Delay, Bill Orcutt, Buke & Gase, and the amazing Colin Stetson, who somehow escaped previous CL previews for Big Ears. For those who may want to make some last minute decisions on which of the many acts to see at the festival, this could be a valuable tool. Take a break between shows to listen to a tune from whoever's up next at the closest venue; go check them out. Voilà!

In regards to the schedule, one concern is that some great performances will be overlapping, making it almost impossible to see everything one might want to see. For example, Vladislav Delay is playing at the same time as Television; Tim Hecker is playing at the same time as Hailu Mergia; and the phenomenally fun Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos will be starting when psychedelic doom trio Nazoranai will already be on. (It's worth noting that most of the participating venues are within a few blocks of each other). That said, having an overabundance of good music to experience isn't the worst problem to have.

Big Ears Festival happens from March 28-30 at various venues in Knoxville, TN. The full schedule will be available this week.

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