Bloomington’s Lotus World Music and Arts Festival kicks off again this weekend, and its economic impact extends beyond the few days it comes to the city each year.
Last year’s Lotus festival attracted visitors from 11 different states. With thousands of visitors, the festival generates between half million to $800,000 annually. Bloomington’s Director of Economic and Sustainable Development Danise Alano-Martin says Lotus’s economic impact extends beyond one weekend each year.
“Lotus makes Bloomington a very vibrate and exciting place while its here, but its also brings Bloomington out into the world beyond the festival,” she says. “So I think certainly its put Bloomington on the map in many ways. And that’s always going to be a plus when people think about where they want to raise their families, or where they might be looking for their next job.”
Alano-Martin says the multicultural music and art brought to Bloomington during Lotus captures the city’s uniqueness.
Lotus Fest’s Development Director Kristen Varella says she expects the festival to grow—something that will only increase the amount of good publicity for the Bloomington.
“We’ve partnered with ‘Visit Bloomington’ this past year through a grant to try and start marketing to regional outlets which we haven’t taken advantage of very much in the past,” Varella says. “With that we have to be cautious as we increase. Population will also have to increase.”
The festival showcases 100 to 150 different artists each year. This year, Lotus is featuring 26 performance groups, nearly double the number it started out with when it opened in 1994.