2021 Festival Dates:
Sept 23 - 26, 2021

The annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival celebrates the

diversity, beauty, and joy of music and arts from cultures around the world.

Lotus is committed to selecting world-class performers who represent the highest standards of musicianship and professionalism. Lotus is distinguished among festivals by not relying on “headliners”, but rather presenting a non-hierarchical mix of performers and prioritizing discovery and inspiring encounters with the new and often unfamiliar. Lotus is also somewhat unique in considering American music as part of the “world” in “world music”– be that American roots and folk music, or music reflecting our tapestry of immigrant experiences. Each year, the festival typically showcases a roster of 25-30 different artists or groups.

Thursday 23rd

Friday 24th

Saturday 25th

Sunday 26th

- COMING SOON -

More Info

Enjoy all that Bloomington has to offer by staying in town for the whole Festival weekend! Downtown Bloomington is known for its thriving arts scene, numerous galleries, farmers market, access to outdoor recreation, and an incredibly diverse selection of world-class restaurants. It’s easy to stay and to get around — we’ve provided some helpful info below, or you can access additional resources via Visit Bloomington.

Parking

Most downtown parking in Bloomington, Indiana is metered (although it’s still reasonable by big-city standards). Meters accept change or credit cards, or you can use the Parkmobile app to pay from your mobile device. There are also several large parking garages downtown — please visit the City’s website for locations and rates.

Some areas near downtown are reserved for special, permitted use. Observe all signs for residential (“Residents Only”) or campus parking (Permit required) restrictions when you encounter them in parking lots and on some street blocks.

Lodging

Bloomington boasts a wide array of lodging choices for every budget — start exploring now at the Visit Bloomington website. Many local hotels also offer special Lotus rates for Festival weekend, so be sure to mention “Lotus” when making your booking! For additional lodging information, please contact Visit Bloomington at 800-800-0037 or 812-334-8900.

LOTUS FESTIVAL IMPACT REPORTS:

2020 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

Over the last 25 years, Lotus has hosted nearly 575 artists or ensembles from 120+ different countries or culturally distinct regions. The Festival regularly attracts an unusually multi-generational audience, participation from local and regional ethnic/cultural communities, and a significant out-of-town population from across the state and across the country. Estimates in partnership with our local Visitors Bureau calculate that Bloomington enjoys an annual economic impact of ~$500,000 on each Festival weekend.

Lotus transforms downtown Bloomington for the Festival, creating a 10-block pedestrian-friendly perimeter and filling 6-8 different venues simultaneously with music and dance. Venues include a range of public spaces, from large outdoor tents perfect for dancing to family-friendly city parks for interactive workshops, to intimate churches and art spaces suited for attentive listening and contemplation. Ticket-buyers get a wristband that provides access to all Festival venues, allowing listeners to sample, discover, and relish in unexpected encounters. In addition to ticketed evening showcases, the Lotus vision of inclusion, diversity, and access also reaches into the wide scope of activities that Lotus offers free of charge on Festival weekend – 40+ hours of free outreach that invites participants from all economic walks of life. We present a free “Lotus in the Park” event with workshops and concerts, a free and interactive Arts Village displaying community-generated visual arts, as well as parades, processions, and exhibits. Lotus is committed to accessibility and to drawing the widest possible cross-section of participants to become part of the music and arts of the world around us.

The Festival is proudly based in downtown Bloomington and named in part for Indiana musician Lotus Dickey (1911-1989).

A wristband is your passport to multiple performances each showcase night, at multiple venues. Stages range from the Buskirk-Chumley Theater to standing-room-only street tents, to churches where traditional music shines.

Lotus offers both ticketed showcases and free events for all ages. Saturday’s Lotus in the Park is packed with live performances, hands-on art projects, and interactive workshops with Festival artists.

Design your own Lotus experience: Fit every performance into your schedule, dashing from venue to venue, or savor just a few.

Keep your options open for the unusual and the unexpected.

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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.