The 29th annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival will commence with a variety of concerts, performances and hands-on arts activities throughout Bloomington on Thursday, Sept. 22 and will continue until Sunday, Sept. 25.
Organized by the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, the festival fulfills the non-profit's mission to “create opportunities to experience, celebrate and explore the diversity of the world’s culture, through music and the arts,” according to the festival program.
More than 20 artists from a variety of genres and backgrounds will perform throughout the weekend. This year’s festival is presented by IU Bloomington and the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.
Ticketed musical events will begin with the Lotus Opening Concert by singer Lucibela at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Lucibela specializes in Brazilian pop, bossa nova, jazz, morna and coladeira music. Tickets for her performance, along with the rest of the Lotus festival events, are available on the Buskirk-Chumley website.
On Friday and Saturday, 15 different musical groups from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America will perform at various venues across Bloomington. Details on showtimes and venues for each group are available on Lotus’ website.
A Sunday afternoon performance by traditional Irish band Feddersen, Gourley and Miller, as well as Indian sarod duo Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash, will close out the weekend. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Guests who purchase the Lotus Festival Pin for $15 will be admitted to this performance for free.
In addition to those ticketed performances, Lotus will offer a variety of free activities beginning on Thursday with Lotus in the Meadow. A Matixando dancing event will begin at 9:30 p.m. in Dunn Meadow.
Other free events include the Festival Arts Village located on Sixth Street between Washington and Walnut streets. The arts village will feature the installation of the Archaeopteryx, a light sculpture that debuted at the Burning Man Festival in 2019.
Several Bloomington arts organizations will also welcome visitors to create different arts and crafts. Lotus will invite guests to make their own puppets, while Women Writing for a Change will create story-telling inspiration crafts and the Bloomington Piano Project will lead a play-piano decorating activity. Sidewalk chalk, bubble wands and hula hoops will be available for play around the village. Free concerts will take place in the village at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Lotus Local Stage, located on Kirkwood Avenue between Lincoln and Grant streets, will feature free performances by four different local music groups at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. At noon on Saturday, families can gather at Switchyard Park to enjoy Lotus in the Park – a celebration with music, art activities and food trucks.
On Saturday, Vivalda Ndula will present a free lecture about grief and loss at 11 a.m. at the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts. On Sunday, the FAR Center will welcome guests to Festival Unwind Yoga classes beginning at 11 a.m.
Refreshments from local food trucks and restaurants will be available at the Arts Village and at Switchyard Park. Beer, wine and other beverages will be provided by Upland Brewing Company, Bloomington Brewing Company and Cardinal Spirits.
For detailed information about ticket sales, event scheduling, parking, artist profiles and Lotus social media, guests can visit the foundation’s website.