Volunteer Profile: Garrett Poortinga

How did you first hear about the Lotus organization?
Well, I’m a Bloomington native, born and raised, so it was always seemingly part of the woodwork of B-town culture. My parents would Volunteer when I was a kid, so perhaps that may have been some my first encounters of the name and event.

What initially inspired you to volunteer for Lotus?
I love photographing live music and performance. When I moved back to Bloomington to start my Graduate studies in Media Production and Design at IU, one of my graduate committee members Jim Krause asked me if I’d be interested. I certainly was, so he made the connection and I’ve been volunteering my photography skills on-and-off again since 2012.

Which artists or Festival scenes stand out as being particularly dynamic or photogenic?
I always love photographing the last 1-2 bands at the 6th street tent on Saturday night. I feel like the energy of the whole event is building up to those acts, and typically the programming is such that those final few acts are bigger names and bigger performances. Therefore, the tent is usually full of dancing, movin’ and groovin’ bodies, and the musical act is super high energy, interacting with the audience. I love to include the interaction that happens between the crowd and the performers. That’s the magic, and I’m honored to be a part of it and create compelling photos.

How would you describe the Festival to other friends and music fans? Why should they attend the event?
The Lotus festival is a huge, Bloomington-staple event, that invites international music performances and styles. Some of the acts are pop, high energy, and some of the music you might not ever hear unless you came to the Lotus fest. One of my favorite things about the fest when I attend on my comp night is that I can roam around, and listen to so many things back to back to back. You can sit in a few songs, and then move on, grab some food, chat with some folks, see some art, and discover to some amazing music.

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