KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Vol Fans filled the streets outside of Neyland Stadium ahead of this year’s Orange and White Game.

Fans of all ages enjoyed new features of the fan experience, including the first-ever Vol Village Music Festival, featuring country artists Matt Stillwell and Emily Ann Roberts. The University of Tennessee basketball players Tess Darby and Jonas Aidoo also signed autographs and took photos with fans.

  • Emily Ann Roberts performing at the Vol Village Music Festival
  • Lady Vols player Tess Darby posing with a fan

Football fans like Meagen Brown have high expectations for the fall after the successful 2022 season.

“I feel like last season was probably a big surprise for a lot of us, especially that Alabama game, and so I’m hoping we build on that momentum, and we’ve kind of shifted away from those bad years and it’s just up from here on,” Brown said.

She and her sister Crystal Blankenship brought their families to the game to get excited about the upcoming season.

“It’s my daughter’s first time at Neyland and we wanted to bring her as well,” Blankenship said.

This year’s game was a first for many, like Vols fan Justin Rowland.

“I’ve never been to one before, we’ve got a really exciting team coming back, and I think there’s a lot of hope on Rocky Top nowadays,” Rowland said.

  • Vols fans awaiting the start of the Orange and White Game
  • Vols fans awaiting the start of the Orange and White Game
  • Young Vols fans getting ready for the Orange and White Game
  • A young Vols fan getting ready for the Orange and White Game
  • Vols fans awaiting the start of the Orange and White Game

With the addition of new recruits, UT students like Drew Berry have some high hopes.

“I mean it was awesome being a freshman coming in here and knowing the football team has been ‘mid’ the past several years, and all of a sudden they’re insane,” Berry said. “Hendon Hooker went crazy, Hyatt, I mean it’s a great group of guys, so I’d say we’re set for the next several years.”

Students like Caden Kinley-Lawrence also said the success the team has seen has been a long time coming.

“I’ve been in Knoxville my entire life and I’ve never seen a season like we had last season so, definitely excited for the future,” Kinley-Lawrence said.