KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Many events across the country being canceled over the coronavirus including here in Knoxville.

Organizers of the annual Big Ears Music Festival announced its cancellation on Wednesday.
The Knoxville festival canceled over coronavirus concerns the same day the World Health Organization declared the virus crisis a pandemic.

PREVIOUS: Big Ears festival canceled due to coronavirus concerns

We caught up with members of the band IO while they were playing music with Ashlee Booth from Two Way Street, another group lined up to perform at Big Ears.

“After South by Southwest got canceled I heard a lot of people talking about maybe Big Ears might be canceled for similar reasons,” said Matt Nelson. “In a way, I wasn’t surprised that it happened. I mean it is disappointing. I know they wouldn’t have made that decision if there weren’t lots of the best health officials in the country you know helping them make that decision.

Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpass said the decision to cancel Big Ears impacts more than just the festival itself.

“Obviously, it trickles down,” Bumpas said. “There’s hotels that had rooms booked for the festival that won’t happen now. And then there’s venues that won’t be used. Performances that won’t be had. But at the end of the day we’re in a place where people have to make smart decisions.”

We’re told refunds will soon be offered to all festival ticket holders.

2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Patti Smith, who placed 47th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Artists. Patti Smith and Her Band join legendary Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and Sonic Youth lead singer Kim Gordon were among Big Ears Festival 2020’s most illustrious performers.