Here’s a guide to some of this weekend’s entertainment and culture highlights. For a full list of events, visit the Mercury’s online calendar.
FRIDAY, MAY 13
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: Ride of the Valkyrie
Tennessee Theatre • 7:30 p.m. • $13-$83
KSO wraps up its 80th season with Wagner’s powerhouse instrumental showpiece, from his opera Die Walküre, and other highlights from the Ring cycle, with pieces by Beethoven and the contemporary American composer Christopher Theofanidis rounding out the program. The University of Tennessee’s James Fellenbaum conducts. This season has been notable for KSO’s search for a new music director and conductor to replace Lucas Richman, who left the orchestra at the end of the 2014-15 season; expect an announcement soon.
The International • 9 p.m. • $18 • 18 and up
The Scottish band Frightened Rabbit seems poised for a stateside breakthrough; on its fifth album, Painting of a Panic Attack, released last month, the band hits big dramatic alt-rock crescendos that recall Coldplay and the National. (Aaron Dessner produced the album with the band.) With Caveman.
SATURDAY, MAY 14
International Biscuit Festival
Downtown Knoxville • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. • Free-$10 (more for the Biscuit Bash)
It’s past time to be surprised that one of Knoxville’s biggest festival-season events is dedicated to the history and culture of the biscuit. The organizers have proven they can fit high-class (and high-dollar) elements like the Biscuit Bash (held on Friday night at the Standard) and the Southern Food Writing Conference, which brings some of the best food journalists from around the country to downtown Knoxville, with a biscuit pageant and the annual smorgasbord of buttery baked-goods indulgence that is the Biscuit Boulevard.
Tennessee Medieval Faire
Harriman • 10 a.m.-5 p.m. • $16.95
Immerse yourself in a live-action Game of Thrones at this month-long festival celebrating the pageantry of the Middle Ages (with a little bit of high fantasy and Renaissance stuff thrown in, too—if you’re a stickler for historical accuracy, go to the library!). There’s music, demonstrations, and lots of swordfighting. The Faire continues through May 30.
East Tennessee Youth Pride Fest
First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge • Noon-5 p.m.
Get together with the Oak Ridge High School Gay/Straight Alliance and local PFLAG groups to support LGBT children and teens during Pride Month. Games, guest speakers, live music, and information will be available.
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
Bijou Theatre • 7 p.m. • $32
The king of bluegrass gospel (check out his 1981 album Rock My Soul for evidence) headlines WDVX’s regular World Class Bluegrass concert, with openers Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time.
SUNDAY, MAY 15
Open Streets Knoxville
Central Street • 1-6 p.m. • Free
The second installment of this national urban craze will shut down car traffic on a mile-long stretch of Central Street—from Scott Avenue to the Old City—for a pedestrian-scale party featuring walking/biking/yoga/beer/kids/dogs/shopping/food/lots more. Check out Clay Duda’s photos of the fun last fall here.
Marble City Opera: Sweets by Kate
Knoxville Museum of Art • 3 p.m. • $20
Knoxville’s rising chamber opera company stages the professional premiere of Griffin Candey’s whimsical opera about a devilishly good candy shop. (There’s an encore production at Sugar Mama’s Bakery on Monday, May 16, at 8 p.m. Tickets to that show are $40.) Read Alan Sherrod’s preview here.
Share this Post