A big reason for my moving to Bloomington, Indiana is the impressive amount of musicians and the incredible support for music that exists here. One of the main manifestations of that support is the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival. For four days downtown Bloomington is taken over by music and musicians from all over the world. Twenty five artists performed on eight stages within a few blocks of each other right downtown. Thousands of wrist-banded people traveled from stage to stage listening to which ever band caught their ear. The festival is all volunteer-run with 400 volunteers taking part this year; including me. It was my first year and I was really impressed with both the incredible organization of the festival as well as the high quality of the music. I’m a sucker for world music so I was in heaven for days. Some of my favorites included: Cimarron- a Joropo band from Columbia whose music is closely related to Son Jarocho from Mexico. Vishten- playing traditional music from the Prince Edward Islands, Canada, Barbara Fortuna – a stunning acappella quartet from Corsica, and Genticorum- a fiddle driven trio from Quebec.