For Sale: Knox First Friday Website (and Its Attendant Headaches)

In Program Notes, Visual Arts by Matthew Everettleave a COMMENT

Steven Lareau has maintained, a guide to First Friday events in and around downtown Knoxville, since 2008. He’s the first to admit that it’s not a comprehensive guide—with dozens of galleries, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs taking part every month, there’s just too much for one person to keep track of. (In fact, more than a handful of the locations listed on the website for May’s First Friday are defunct—some of them have been out of business for several years.) That’s why Lareau wants to give it up.

Even without full listings, the website has been a handy resource as First Friday has grown from a small art tour into a monthly boxed-wine blowout. But Lareau has had enough, and he’s offering the domain for sale to anyone else who wants to keep it going.

“I’m just getting burned out,” Lareau says. “It’s been six or seven years now. Places have disappeared and moved and vanished and new ones have cropped up. It’s insane keeping up with it. It’s just crazy. But I’m glad to see it’s grown.”

Lareau, a self-taught artist who lives in Clinton, was motivated to start the website when he couldn’t find more than a few lines of information about the monthly openings he was interested in. But he’s grown frustrated that many of the participating venues still won’t publicize their events.

“It’s just too exhausting to keep up,” Lareau says. “I try to head out on First Friday and check out the galleries and kick these people in the butt. ‘Would you please shoot me an email with the upcoming artists?’ But it’s absurd—I get six or seven every month, out of all those people who participate. It got to the point where I was spending ridiculous hours every month going to everybody’s website, everybody’s Facebook page, all the artists’ pages, hoping somebody’s got this information for who’s going to be where each month.”

Inquiries about the domain can be made to Lareau through the website.

Senior Editor Matthew Everett manages the Knoxville Mercury's arts & entertainment section, including the comprehensive calendar section—Knoxville’s go-to guide for everything worth doing in the area. You can reach Matthew at

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