The annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, organized by the Lotus Education & Arts Foundation, has been a source of pride for the city of Bloomington and an inspiring event for the many people that happen upon it—or even travel miles to attend it. During my time as a student at IU, I would become giddy when seeing the roads blocked off, big tents built up, and food trucks that made their way to Kirkwood Avenue where they would park and serve up friendly smells for the entire weekend. Signs in front of churches and theatres indicated that there would be indoor concerts held in their spaces, and it would be hard not to peek in to see if they had begun to set up the lights and speakers.
Freshman year, I was lucky enough to get a ticket through my dorm. Pulled in by the sounds from the international community of artists, my friends and I wandered around until we found ourselves spending the night under the dazzling lights and in the thick of the thundering beats provided by the energetic Swedish hip-hop/swing band Movits!.
Photo by James Brosher
Last year, through the kindness of a fellow IU student, I found myself in possession of a free weekend pass. (Whoever you are, thank you!) On that Saturday night, I walked to the First Christian Church to witness the beautiful voice and spirit of Sofía Viola, Argentinian singer and composer. Her performance was breathtaking.
The festival this year is unlike any other—it is largely virtual. It will begin Thursday night (9/24) and will continue through Sunday (9/27). If you have not already, I urge you to purchase a ticket or RSVP for the free events. The incredible line-up of renowned artists from across the globe will keep you curious, exhilarated, and inspired all weekend long. And you won’t see this kind of coming together in global music until next year rolls around. Grab onto it while you can!
Maybe next year, we’ll see the big tents rise up around Bloomington Square once more. Until then, we can enjoy the festival from the comfort of our homes.