Local Music Scene Healthy, Diverse

Chad Robison performs at local venue The Square Room.

Knoxville’s local music scene is healthy and diverse, local industry insiders say.

Though the livelihood of local music is intact, many fail to discover its charms.

“Knoxville is totally a word of mouth town,” said Lisa Cyr, general manager of local venue The Square Room. Cyr points to social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, and blogs as tools to spread the word about local music.

One of Knoxville’s most popular blogs, the sunsphere is NOT a wigshop, keeps readers up-to-date with local music happenings. Discussion of upcoming shows and past events shows off Knoxville’s devoted fan base.

Musical Melting Pot

Dialectic Sines performs at a house party. Photo courtesy Ben Allen.

Local DJ, Ben Allen, agreed with Cyr that a grassroots movement is crucial to success, particularly a diverse movement.

Allen, who performs as Dialectic Sines, said a versatile crowd attends his raves. He credits the upward trend of local electronic music to accessibility and a “more at home environment.”

Electronic acts take this sentiment seriously. Many raves take place in fans’ homes. By bringing acts into households, residents are surrounded by live music more than ever.

Thriving Scene

Diversity is related to the health of a music scene, according to Justin Cox, intern at The Square Room. Cox said local music is bolstered by many venues showcasing a variety of artists.

According to Metropulse.com, Knoxville is home to more than 40 venues. AC Entertainment, the promotion giant behind Bonnaroo, is also located in Knoxville.

The music displayed at these venues reads like a genre checklist. Knoxvillians can easily find country, Americana, folk, hard rock, metal, jazz and electronic music.

Map of Popular Knoxville Music Venues

“There’s always live music going on,” said Cyr. “A lot of people are interested to see what’s new. They’re not afraid to see something that they haven’t seen before.”


Don't want to drive to Atlanta or Nashville for a concert? Enjoy Knoxville's eclectic music scene instead. Dozens of venues offer a variety of music to entertain locals.

Related Links


Information on upcoming Knoxville, Tennessee, and regional (particularly Asheville, NC) concerts and musical events.


Alternative arts and entertainment weekly covering the Knoxville area.


Large list of local Knoxville bands with links to band web sites and music.


Popular guide to independent music often featured in Knoxville.


Music blog highlighting upcoming bands in the independent music scene.


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