KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville is becoming a major destination for performers and concertgoers, according to Pollstar’s 2023 Concert Market Rankings.
Using live entertainment ticket sales data from across the nation, Pollstar ranked cities based on the number of tickets sold in their market. Knoxville ranked #41 on the list, rising 56 spots from previous year.
The 56-spot jump marked the single largest jump by any city in the rankings.
“This national ranking really highlights Knoxville on the map as a live entertainment destination,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “Music and performances enhance both the visitor experience and the quality of life for local residents, and it’s exciting for us as the CVB to work with and promote our incredible partners in the industry.”
There are a number of local venues that offer live entertainment including the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, Thompson-Boling Arena, Mill & Mine, the Tennessee Theatre and the Bijou Theatre.
“The overwhelming support from those purchasing tickets continues to make Knoxville a top destination for touring shows,” said Mitch List, Assistant General Manager of the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum. “We look forward to building on this momentum and having a full calendar in 2023 with a variety of touring shows.”
Thompson-Boling Arena has been able to attract larger acts more frequently since the University of Tennessee began alcohol sales at campus venues in 2019. The arena has since hosted major events and musical acts like Paul McCartney, Alan Jackson, Elton John, and many others.
“It’s an honor to be a part of Knoxville’s top-tier concert market,” said Jason Pedone, Director of Thompson-Boling Arena. “The city’s meteoric rise is a validation of the University of Tennessee’s vision for Thompson-Boling Arena and its commitment to being a major multi-purpose arena.”
Stevie Nicks, The Chicks, Eagles, and Lizzo are among the major acts scheduled to play the venue this year.
“The Tennessee Theatre is proud to contribute to this Top 50 ranking for the Knoxville market,” said Becky Hancock, Executive Director of the Tennessee Theatre. “In the last year, our patrons have shown they are eager for great entertainment of all types, and ticket sales have outpaced even pre-pandemic levels. We have a lot more exciting concerts and events to fill our calendar in 2023 and beyond.”
Visit Knoxville hopes the rise in rankings will help draw more performers to the city. Number 1 in the concert market rankings this year was New York, with Las Vegas coming in second. At the bottom of the list is Odessa-Midland in Texas.
“Knoxvillians’ love for music is the heartbeat that has kept the Bijou Theatre alive for the last 114 years,” said Courtney Bergmeier, Executive Director of the Bijou Theatre. “There aren’t many places that provide a greater sense of community than live music venues: hundreds of people gathered together, singing along with total strangers and making new friends through their shared love of music. Concerts allow us to give joy, happiness, and unforgettable memories to our community, and we’re so fortunate to be in a place that responds to that gift with love and support.”