Showcases 101: The Lotus World Music & Arts Festival

Every year, new audience members discover the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in downtown Bloomington, Indiana. Here are a few tips to help you plan your Lotus adventure if you’re new to the festival.

  • Friday and Saturday night Showcases are ticketed. They begin around 6:30 pm and finish around midnight (venue starting and ending times vary) and take place at multiple venues. Peruse the Artist Roster here or in the links provided on festival pages.
  • Drummer and child
    A Lotus street encounter; photo by Jeffrey Hammond.

    There’s a lot to explore in addition to ticketed events. Use the Festival Guide on each Festival page of this site to see just how much (ticketed and free) stuff you’d like to do.

  • Come for the entire Festival, not one particular group or individual performer. Festival admission guarantees that you will get into the festival. If you are coming to see just one artist, and you arrive at that venue early, chances are good that you’ll get in to see that one artist. However, we can’t guarantee that.
  • Lines may occur at “sit-down” venues such as the Buskirk-Chumley Theater or church venues, where door monitors ensure that audience members enter and exit only at the breaks between songs.
  • Some venues do not have seating. If you prefer venues with fixed seating, aim for the Buskirk-Chumley Theater or church venues.
  • Your wristband is your passport to many performances (pricing info here) — You will exchange your ticket for a wristband at the Festival Headquarters area on Kirkwood (in front of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater). However, we also ask that our audiences to be respectful of performers: If you are attending a set at a “sit-down” or fixed-seating venue, please enter and exit ONLY between songs, as quietly as possibleso that we may minimize disruptions during performances.
  • Street scene
    Near Festival Headquarters; photo by Kevin Atkins.

    Sound and energy levels vary from venue to venue, and from artist to artist. Music is amplified 99% of the time, even if artists are playing acoustic instruments such as guitar, violin, kora, mbira, etc. Quieter music is scheduled for churches. Expect louder music at the outdoor tents, where there are bigger crowds, movement, audience noise, and dancing.

  • Performers and schedules may change at the last minute. Check this website or subscribe to our RSS feed for current information.

The annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival is produced by the non-profit Lotus Education and Arts Foundation. Each year, the Festival is made possible by generous sponsors from across our community.

Lotus is a 501(c)3 organization. In addition to the festival, it annually offers concerts, arts events, community workshops, and Lotus Blossoms, an educational outreach program that has reached more than 100,000 elementary students since 2001. Every Lotus event supports our mission:

To create opportunities to experience, celebrate, and explore the diversity of the world’s cultures, through music and the arts.

Your contributions, large and small, make our work possible. When you donate to Lotus, you commit to helping foster the love of the diversity of the world’s cultures in South Central Indiana. There are many ways to donate to Lotus. Click “Donate” for more information.