By Andrew Miller
Recently the streets of downtown Bloomington underwent a transformation. The bustle of traffic and the sound of honking horns was replaced with the hum of excited crowds and the beats of music from around the world. The 21st Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, which brings artists from across the globe to southern Indiana, was held between September 18th and the 21st. It included bands as diverse as a group which blends Mongolian folk music with jazz, to classical Indian music.
Lotus Fest is held every year and receives support from the Bloomington community as well as Indiana University academic departments and study centers – who provide both funding and promotion among the IU community. The goal of this festival is to celebrate and explore the diversity of music and art across the globe.
In addition to musical performances, the festival also offers attendees the chance to interact with various other art forms. The Festival Arts Village and Lotus in the Park are free events in which participants of all ages can enjoy musical performances, interactive workshops, and arts and crafts.
The atmosphere this year was electric, with concertgoers flocking to venues around Bloomington to enjoy the over two dozen performers. The courthouse square, normally packed with cars, bicycles, and pedestrians, was the site of a concert tent. Hundreds of spectators danced and clapped along to the rhythm of bands such as the Danish Mames Babegenush (pictured below).