Brad Paisley tour visits Vols

On Feb. 22, country music superstar Brad Paisley brought his “Weekend Warrior World Tour”  to Thompson-Boling Arena, the site of several country music tours slated for this year that attract fans from across the nation.

However, the home crowd became the focus in Paisley’s show. University of Tennessee students especially enjoyed the concert. Paisley even asked a UT business major to join him on stage for a song at the beginning of his set. 

Paisley continued to embrace the crowd and the venue. Though he played hit songs like “Whiskey Lullaby,” Paisley appealed to the audience by playing “Rocky Top.”

Being a Vol fan, Paisley reminded the crowd college football kicks off in September. The Vols face off against Paisley’s other favorite team, West Virginia, in a neutral site matchup Sept. 1. Paisley infuses his support into his music. In the music video for Paisley’s “Country Nation,” he wears a split jersey: half Mountaineer, half Volunteer.

Paisley further expressed his support on stage. He shocked a young fan when he gave him a signed guitar. Next to the signature, Paisley drew a “Power T” for Tennessee.

“You gotta learn how to play it now,” Paisley said. “Now that’s how you make a Kenny Chesney.”

Chesney, a fellow country artist, also supports the Vols. His song “Touchdown Tennessee” pays tribute to John Ward, famed former voice of the Vols.

Country artists embrace Tennessee, as Thompson-Boling attracts country acts each year. Couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill brought their tour to the arena last September. Paisley kept the trend alive as Thompson-Boling prepares to host Miranda Lambert next week. Chris Stapleton brings his tour to Knoxville this October.

In addition to well-established artists, Thompson-Boling also hosts up-and-coming musicians invited to tour.

Opening acts Lindsay Ell, Chase Bryant and Dustin Lynch kicked off the Feb. 22 concert with several songs, including Lynch’s  “Small Town Boy” which currently sits at No. 43 on the iTunes Country chart.

For information about upcoming events at Thompson-Boling click here.

For Brad Paisley fan and tour information visit:


Featured Image by TNJN

Edited by Lexie Little

Agriculture Campus brings mixology to UT staff

A dry campus was wet for a few hours Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The event, which was called Botanical Mixology, was posted on the University of Tennessee’s event calendar with a small disclaimer that read, “21 and over. No currently enrolled UT students admitted per UT policy.”

While students were not admitted, UT staff members were, and two members of the university’s faculty hosted and ran the event.

Milly Burnett, part of the education staff at UT Gardens, led the event based on her experience as a bartender.  Holly Jones helped run the event and is the kitchen garden manger on the Agricultural Campus. She is also a garden educator.

“We are a dry campus, but we are allowed to have special events here,” Jones said. “This event is a fundraiser for the Gardens.”

Those in attendance learned how to properly garnish and mix drinks using simple items from their gardens.  Attendees could indulge in samples of each alcoholic beverage as long as they were not students enrolled at UT.

According to the university’s campus policy on alcohol, “The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in compliance with federal, state and local law, allows lawful, responsible alcohol consumption at University functions, as long as the use occurs at a University activity and at a campus location where alcohol is allowed.”

Before the event began attendees were checked in by name through their online registration application, but no IDs were checked to verify that they were at least 21-years-old.

Featured image and video by Danielle Apgar

Edited by Taylor Owens





Arab Fest celebrates diversity, showcases Middle Eastern cultures

Over the weekend, the Arab American Club of Knoxville and the Religious Studies department at the University of Tennessee held its fourth annual Arab Fest on pedestrian walkway.

The two day festival showcased food, dancing, crafts and various demonstrations of Arab and Middle Eastern cultures.

Erin Darby, assistant professor in the Religious Studies department at UT, is the co-coordinator of the event.

“It began when my students came back from their study abroad tour [in Jordan] in 2013, and they were frustrated that they didn’t have the ability to share their experience with the rest of the UT community,” Darby said. “So, between UT and the Arab American Club of Knoxville, what was a tiny, little baby idea sort of jumped forth into this crazy festival, and it’s gotten bigger every year.”

“It’s basically a way to share the best of Arab culture, not just with UT students but the whole community,” Darby said.

There were several booths lining the circle of pedestrian walkway. Authentic Middle Eastern food from Yassin’s Falafel House, Mirage and other individuals were available to attendees. People could also smoke hookah, get a henna tattoo or purchase authentic beaded home decor and clothes.

In the middle of all of the vendors was a stage for people to sing, dance and play Arab music. On Friday, there was a musician playing a doumbek, which is a style of Middle Eastern drum. Students were encouraged to come up and learn the Arab group folk dance dabke. There were plenty of smiles in the chain of individuals dancing around to the music both days of the festival.

Among guests at the event was the City of Knoxville Mayor, Madeline Rogero. When speaking to the attendees of the festival, Mayor Rogero admitted to this being her first year attending the festival.

“I love coming to our ethnic festivals in our city,” Rogero said. “Thanks to UT, and Tennessee Valley Authority, and Oak Ridge National Lab and a lot of our businesses here we are a very diverse city and I think it’s really important that we celebrate the diversity we have here.”

Some students like junior Jasmine Parks attended the event as a volunteer for extra credit.

“I just love cultural things,” Jasmine said. “Professor Darby asked that we all come out, and I did, and it is a lot of fun.”

For future Arab Fests, Darby would like to see more people come out and learn about Arab and Middle Eastern cultures.

If you have any interest in being involved with or helping plan future Arab Fests, you can email Darby at

Featured image by Nima Kasraie, obtained through Creative Commons

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Advocates for Autism to host Fall Fest

On Friday from 4-8 p.m., Advocates for Autism, a campus organization dedicated to spreading awareness and educating students about autism and individuals on the spectrum, will be celebrating the arrival of autumn with a number of activities at the Humanities Amphitheater on Volunteer Blvd.

Advocates for Autism was founded last year by the current co-presidents Brianna Mason and Terrell Broady Jr. Both are graduate students pursuing their MBAs.

Image may contain: textTheir mission statement reads:

Advocates For Autism aims to raise awareness and educate the campus about autism and individuals on the spectrum. We provide an inclusive environment for students on the spectrum and serve as allies. Advocates For Autism raises funds to provide local students, families, and adults with resources, support, and education.”

From 4-6 p.m., the local Friendly Farm will be provide a petting farm, which will include goats, pigs, sheep and ducks among other animals.

Ron Schneider will lead the attendants in square dancing starting at 5 p.m.

There will be pumpkin decorating, a photo booth, a bake sale themed around fall, apple cider and s’mores throughout the event.

All proceeds from the bake sale, s’mores and any food sold for the animals will go towards their community partner, Autism Site Knoxville, and other fundraising events.

Co-president Mason said this event is going to be a fun way to celebrate the fall season and learn more about autism. 

We hope to have families and individuals with autism at the event to interact with one another and participate in fun activities,” she said. “We also hope to raise awareness about autism because with 1 in 68 children born this year expected to receive a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, the population is growing. It is growing more and more common that you will in someway be affected by autism. It is our job to make people aware and educate.”

For more information about becoming a member of Advocates for Autism, email Mason at

For more information on AFA events by liking their Facebook page

Edited by Vanessa Rodriguez 

Featured Image by Randall Billings, courtesy of Creative Commons

Yelawolf makes first tour stop in Knoxville

Thursday Sept. 21, the Cotton Eyed Joe concert series continued with Alabama native Michael Wayne Atha, aka Yelawolf, who made his first stop on his “51/50” tour in Knoxville.

With general admission tickets priced at ten dollars in advance, the Joe filled with people. Those in attendance stood extremely close together so they could be as close to the stage as possible.

The tour features three special guests as openers for Yelawolf. Cookup Boss opened up the show performing a few songs including “Dont Mean Nun 2 Me.” Mikey Mike followed with a slightly longer setlist that included “Cut My Hair” and “Going Charlie.” Big Henri did not perform any songs due to technical difficulties with his equipment.

Even though he did not perform, Big Henri introduced Yelawolf as he opened the show with “Empty Bottles.” Though the opening song was slow, Yelawolf immediately got the crowd amped up before the next song by introducing himself and the tour.

“Knoxville hasn’t seen what a real mosh pit is, so let’s show them one!” Yelawolf said. 

He walked back and forth across the stage to make sure that every person on the dance floor could see him during the performance. He sprayed water bottles at the crowd, rendering them even more excited.

In the middle of his set, Yela gave a shoutout to Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, and asked if anyone had a best friend as he transitioned to his hit song “Best Friend” which features Eminem on his album.  

Yelawolf continued his set with “Tennessee Love” and “Johnny Cash.”

While Yela performed mostly new songs, he performed a few hits from previous albums. He performed “Pop the Trunk” and “Daddy’s Lambo”  from “Trunk Muzik”, one of his first albums.

During one of the songs, Yela asked the crowd if they knew one of the verses and stopped rapping while the crowd continued the verse.  Then he, again, sprayed the crowd with water.

Yelawolf also performed “Let’s Roll,” “Till It’s Gone” and “Chevrolet.”

Yelawolf mixed up the pace of the show by singing some of his slower songs between the more upbeat and hard-hitting songs. From his “Love Story” album he performed “American You,” tying into his general American theme.

Yela mentioned little sayings like “this is America!” between songs. His interjections earned cheers from the crowd.

He finished his hour and a half set by thanking Knoxville for hosting him and his crew.

The “51/50” tour will be back in Tennessee on Oct. 8, 2017 for the “Slumfest” in Nashville.

Tickets can be purchased at:

Featured Image: Creative Commons

Edited by Lexie Little