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Crossover Media Artists well represented in expanded 2017 Big Ears Festival / RollingStone

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Big Ears Festival – America's premiere avant-garde music gathering for six non-consecutive years running – is expanding to four days starting in 2017, and the organizers have announced the first 64 performers. The fest, which runs March 23rd to March 26th in Knoxville, Tennessee, is breaking from their long tradition of having a "composer in residence" for the weekend. Instead, it will explode with a huge and diverse lineup that reaches back to heroes of Sixties and Seventies counterculture up to today's most boundary-pushing art-rockers.

The more out-there reaches of indie rock will be represented by Gold-certified alt-country weirdos Wilco, Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields to name a few and the increasingly popular strain of 21th Century Classical and "new music" will be represented by what may be its largest cast yet: Jóhann Jóhannson perfoming Drone Mass; cellist Maya Beiser performing David Lang's World to Come; Radiohead cellist Oliver Coates, choral group Theatre of Voices, flautist Claire Chase, pianist Lisa Moore, cellist Maya Beiser, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, choral groups the Crossing and Theatre of Voices and Knoxville's own new music ensemble Nief-Norf, who were a surprise highlight of 2016 with a masterfully curated selection of contemporary pieces.