Press release: 30 Years of Lotus; Festival September 28 – October 1, 2023

Courtesy photos – Madalitso Band

 September 1, 2023


        30 YEARS OF LOTUS

Lotus World Music & Arts Festival celebrates 

30 years of amplifying diverse voices from around the world!

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA:  The 30th annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival will fill the streets of downtown Bloomington, Indiana with sights and sounds from around the globe from September 28 – October 1, 2023.  With more than 20 international artists, seven venues, and free events for all ages, this year’s Lotus Festival is bound to supply an eclectic blend of global sound and the palpable Lotus energy we know so well. 

“For many in the Bloomington and surrounding communities, Lotus Fest is a household name and an experience families have grown up knowing. We want to honor our roots and traditions of 30 years while continuing to inspire creativity, curiosity, and enthusiasm in a new generation of audiences, volunteers, donors, and leaders,” Lotus Executive Director Katarina Koch said. 

Venues range in style from the historic Buskirk-Chumley Theater, to contemplative church settings, to pavement-quaking outdoor dance tents. Music genres span continents and cultures, including bachata from Dominican Republic, Cape Verdean blues, Haitian roots music, Malawian groove, high-energy Latin rock, American blues, and more.  A complete list of artists is available at  All-inclusive, weekend, and single-day passes are available for online, phone, and walk-up purchase at   

What’s new for the 30th Festival

Lotus new-comers and aficionados will be glad to know about some exciting updates and new events for this year’s Festival. The 2023 Lotus Festival will begin with two early events! Latin rock band Making Movies will host a free screening of their film, Ameri’kana, a PBS documentary featuring Enrique Chi engaging with legendary musicians from four cultural melting pots in an exploration of the cross-pollinated nature of American music. The screening will be followed by an informal Q & A and demo from Making Movies. The event, sponsored by Indiana Memorial Union Board, will take place on Wednesday, September 13 beginning at 7:00 P.M. 

The free and open-to-the-public Lotus in the Meadow at Dunn Meadow concert featuring Making Movies will be held on Thursday, September 14 at 9:00 P.M., two weeks before the official start of the 2023 Lotus Festival. Lotus is partnering with the Indiana Memorial Union and La Casa to present this concert. 

“We are excited to begin our World Music & Art celebrations early this year to create more opportunities for students and the community, new and seasoned, to engage with Lotus and learn more about the festival,” Lotus Executive Director Katarina Koch said. 

Another exciting addition for the 2023 Festival is the Lotus One World Dance Hall. Hearkening back to our earliest days of the Festival, Lotus is back at the newly renovated Waldron Arts Center Auditorium. The Lotus One World Dance Hall will feature bands who play culturally-specific dance music, ranging from bachata to Cajun to Old Time/Irish. We will also have 15 minutes of dance instruction at the beginning of each set, allowing audience members the option to boost their confidence on the dance floor.

“We are delighted to offer our community ways to connect to our roots while creating new opportunities for audiences to have creative engagement with Lotus artists,” Koch said. 

Finally, Lotus is delighted to announce that the Old National Bank 4th St Stage will begin each evening with a spotlight on exceptionally talented local bands, followed by performances from dynamic acoustic international artists. 

Tickets and Schedules

The heart of the Festival is the evening showcase experience on Friday and Saturday nights, when a wristband becomes a passport to sample from among 25+ performance sets each evening, in an array of downtown venues running simultaneously from 6:00 P.M. to midnight. Ticketed Festival events also include the Thursday Kick-Off Concert. The long weekend wraps up with Sunday’s Closing Concert, where your purchase of a Festival pin equals entry to a celebration of diverse musical grooves. 

Please find more information about tickets at

More Free Events

The Festival will also feature a myriad of free events offering many no-ticket-required activities for all ages throughout the four-day weekend. These events include free daytime concerts, artist lectures and demos, visual arts activities, and even a yoga session to unwind from the fantastic festival weekend. 

Please find more information here:  

About the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival

As the flagship program of the non-profit Lotus Education & Arts Foundation, the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival is one of the oldest world music festivals in the U.S. and the only event of its kind in Indiana.  Established in 1994, the Festival now attracts more than 12,000 people to downtown Bloomington each fall for 4-5 days of music and arts from around the globe; it is considered one of the city’s signature happenings as well as a destination tourism event.  Through the Festival, Lotus creates  – on a grand scale – the rare opportunity for audiences to experience places far removed from their everyday routines and to broaden their worldview through the arts.  In doing so, the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival contributes to the Lotus Education & Arts Foundation mission: to create opportunities to experience, celebrate, and explore the diversity of the world’s cultures, through music and the arts.

Complete information about the Festival schedule and events, 2023 Lotus artists, ticketing, and more is available online at or in the Lotus interactive schedule at  

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About Lotus Education & Arts Foundation

Established in 1994, the Lotus Education & Arts Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Bloomington, Indiana, with a mission to create opportunities to experience, celebrate, and explore the diversity of the world’s cultures, through music and the arts.

All Lotus programming supports the institutional mission and includes the annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival,  Lotus Blossoms Educational Outreach, and a vibrant multicultural Visual Arts program.  Lotus also offers special programming, concerts, workshops, and events with community partners throughout the year.

For More Information


Interactive schedule: 

Tickets on sale now:  

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