Knoxville now a hot spot for concerts

Big-name artists make stops in Knoxville
Big-name artists make stops in Knoxville
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:10 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:59 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - This year made a mark for big concerts in Knoxville as the city was host to more than 26 different well-known musicians.

“We’ve seen a 180% increase in shows in Knoxville over the last five years, proving Knoxville is an important emerging market for artists to add to their tour,” said Ted Heinig, President of Live Nation Knoxville. “Acts like Paul McCartney, Lizzo and Stevie Nicks have never played the market until this last year, and artists like Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses and Shania Twain have historically skipped and haven’t performed in the city in a long time. We are excited to see this growth and look forward to continuing to bring more world-class entertainment to the great city of Knoxville,” Heinig said.

Knoxville brought in some very famous musicians which is not common ground for the still-growing city.

“You know over the last few years, we’ve taken some big moves and we booked Paul McCartney and it sold out in like literally the presale almost. And I think that just really put Knoxville on the map,” said Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville.

Thompson-Boling Arena specifically saw a steady influx of concerts in 2023, and so far in 2024 there are scheduled artists such as Aerosmith, Dan + Shay and Tyler Childers.

“The month of September has been an unprecedented month for concerts. It’s almost every day and sometimes two concerts in a day. Two major artists in a day. We had in September, 20 different concerts, about half and half rock and country and then we even had a Las Vegas show with Wayne Newton here last night,” said Bob Thomas, senior sales executive at WIVK.

The trend is continuing upward for big-time concerts in Knoxville and as long as the revenues continue to be sold out, that will keep that trajectory skyrocketing.

“It’s a crazy time and I think it’s good for the city because evidently we are a growing city that can handle this amount of entertainment dollars that is being asked for,” Thomas said.

Knoxville is proving to artists and promoters that they can turn a profit off of performances and that will continue to keep a growing city expanding even more.

“Knoxville’s proven as a market that it can sell tickets and it can sell tickets to all genres of music. I mean that’s the big tipping point that’s happened over the last few years. I think that’s why you see now all the artists regardless of what kind of music they play or sing, want to be right here in Knoxville,” Bumpas said.