This past weekend was the 23rd annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival. This festival has previously drawn over 12,000 people to our fair city and brings in musicians and artists from around the globe. Since its inception in 1994, Lotus has become a Bloomington institution. Here’s what we’re excited for at this year’s Lotus fest.

Emily Abshire and I went to check out the action on Friday night of the festival.

We began the night with a crucial stop at the food truck village. After being fueled up by some A+ grub from The Gravy Train, we headed over to the Pictura Gallery tent to catch some of Rocky Dawuni‘s set. The energy of the crowd was high and the night was young. Next we took a stroll through the “One Million Stars to End Violence” display on 6th street, and checked out the “Around the Body, Around the World” exhibit at the Waldron Arts Center.

After taking in some beautiful textiles, we headed for Altan, a traditional Irish folk band playing at the Buskirk-Chumley. The band, which has been together for close to three decades, delighted the audience with lively jigs and anecdotes about the conception of their songs.

In need of some refreshment, Emily and I took a pit-stop at the frozen hot chocolate truck (we were really feeling the food truck village).

We ended the night by taking in Patagonian Fémina’s second set of the night. Despite it not being their first performance that day, the ladies delivered an energetic and moving performance. They seemed genuinely happy to be there, and judging by the filled audience, we were happy to see them.

Our final thoughts on Lotus are that it offers a little something for everyone. The variance of musical acts ensures that people who want a more energetic show will get one, and people looking for an acoustic set will not be disappointed either. The food truck village was a hot spot, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take advantage of it during the rest of the weekend. Lotus Fest is definitely not your average teen-overrun festival, and in that sense it offers itself as a perfect weekend for families and Bloomington locals.

We can’t wait to see what Lotus World Music and Arts Festival 2017 has to offer!