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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student


Terrorist attacks alter lineup of Lotus Festival

Bloomington's Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, an annual five-day event scheduled to begin Wednesday, will be adversely affected by the transportation problems stemming from the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington Tuesday. \nThe disruption of air travel and general international tension have already led to one band cancellation -- Celtic pop group Kila have announced they will not make the festival. But Executive Director Lee Williams said the show would go on.\n"We're going to have a festival," he said. "There will be at least 22 artists, if not more."\nWilliams said that international artists coming to Bloomington from overseas were weighing their options. Some of the artists have already had other shows canceled in the United States this week, making continued travel financially difficult. Some are wary about using air travel after Tuesday's hijackings. Some are unsure how soon air transportation to the United States will be available.\nThe Federal Aviation Administration grounded all commercial flights after the terrorist attacks Tuesday. Airports were reopened on a limited basis Thursday morning, but flights are expected to be backed up for some time.\nIn the face of this setback, Williams said it is more important than ever that Lotus go forward.\n"I think we are completely committed to having the Lotus festival -- not just for the normal reasons. The terrorist actions are meant to disrupt life, and it's meant to disrupt society," he said. "For a festival that promotes cultural diversity and the joy of art in the community, it's imperative that we continue in the face of that kind of hatred."\nWilliams said the festival can help combat that hatred.\n"We as a staff and board feel that it is very important to continue the work of good will that the festival creates in the community, because of the diverse populations that are on stage and in the audience," Williams said. "We have artists from Middle Eastern countries and in Israel -- hot, politically active spots in the world. We're proud that we have those artists representing their countries here on stage."\nWilliams said he expected to know more about the status of the performers by the end of the weekend.\nOther cancellations and postponements:\n• The Jimmy Buffett concert at Verizon Wireless Music Center, originally scheduled for Tuesday, has been rescheduled for Sept. 25.\n• The Arlo Guthrie and Friends concert, scheduled for Friday at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis, has been canceled. The concert will not be rescheduled -- ticketholders can obtain a full refund at point of purchase.

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