The weekend has arrived: AC Entertainment's Big Ears Festival is here. With widely respected and legendary acts like composer Steve Reich, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and 70s rockers Television, Knoxville will become a veritable hotbed for experimental music. Now comes the trouble with all festivals: which acts do I see and which do I pass up? And what do I do with all the activities?

Luckily, The Daily Beacon has you covered.


What: Found Sound Nation's mobile Street Studio
Where: The Tomato Head
When: 1 - 5. p.m.
Why you should go: Get in the Big Ears mood by adding your voice to this spontaneous concert. As mics get passed around, the sounds will loop in order to create truly experimental jams. Plus, the result will be available for download after the festival.

What: Big Ears Launch Party
Who: Steve Reich with So Percussion (and some words from founder Ashley Capps)
When: 5 p.m.
Where: Knoxville Museum of Art
Why you should go: This kick-off will give you a sneak peek of the incredible musician that is Steve Reich as he performs his work "Clapping Music." Get the weekend started off right with a party (and you may see some famous Knoxvillians, like Mayor Madeline Rogero).

Who: Dean Wareham, Susanna, John Cale
When: 7:30p.m.
Where: Tennessee Theatre
Why you should go: This is the night's biggest set, and it includes music you won't want to miss. Wareham and Susanna both bring a unique style of experimental music to the Big Ears table. Wareham has composed music for the film "The Squid and the Whale." Norwegian songwriter Susanna rarely performs in the U.S., so her performance will be a special treat. Top the night off with Velvet Underground member John Cale – it will be a set to remember.


Who: Marc Nelson Tattoo and Denim Brunch
When: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Where: Cocoa Moon on Market Square
Why you should go: Nelson is a local designer whose denim is becoming well-known all over the world. This event offers two great services: buy local, high-quality jeans and watch people get spontaneous tattoos they might (read: probably will) regret later.

Who: Oneohtrix Point Never
When: 3:30 p.m.
Where: Bijou Theatre
Why you should go: Another musician who has film on his resume, Brooklyn-based Daniel Lopatin scored Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring." His ambient, electronic tunes are worth missing some of the afternoon workshops.

Who: Laraaji, Julia Holter, Low, Television
When: 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bijou Theatre, Tennessee Theatre
Why you should go: The Bijou Theatre is the place to be Saturday evening and into the night. Quick and dirty breakdown: Laraaji was discovered by Brian Eno (Coldplay, David Bowie). Low's experimental rockers have toured with acts like Radiohead and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Television (at the Tennessee Theatre at 10 p.m.) really needs no explanation – they formed during the 70s in New York at what some would call the height of rock 'n' roll.


Who: Conversation with Steve Reich
When: 2:15 p.m.
Where: Knoxville Museum of Art
Why you should go: Don't miss the chance to interact with who the New York Times calls, "Our greatest living composer." Period.

Who: Bryce Dessner: So Percussion
When: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Bijou Theatre
Why you should go: Dessner is most known for his Grammy-nominated band The National, but he's also a composer with a wealth of experimental compositions. So Percussion will be performing several of his works, including music for wood and and strings.

Late night all weekend: Check out the Hello City Festival, the indigenous companion to Big Ears formerly known as No Ears. The Pilot Light event features post 10 p.m. shows from local artists – just in case you didn't get enough sweet music during the day.