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We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Top September Events

Categories: Festivals, Indiana University, Live Music, General, Arts & Culture, Events


Indiana Balloon Festival

4th Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts

Date: Saturday, September 2 through Sunday, September 3
Time: 10:00 AM-6:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM-5:00 PM on Sunday
Location: 4th Street, between Grant Street and Indiana Avenue
Admission: Free

Enjoy the annual 4th Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts, with work available by over 120 local, regional, and national artists.

First Thursdays Festival

Date: Thursday, September 7
Time: 5:00-8:00 PM
Location: IU Arts Plaza
Admission: Price of meal

First Thursdays festivals showcase the diversity of arts and humanities at IU Bloomington and offer a welcoming environment for students, faculty, staff, and community members to explore new creative outlets. Previous festivals have included everything from opera to breakdancing, stage-fighting to clay-throwing, and much, much more. 


Bloomington Black Y Brown Arts Festival

Date: Friday, September 8 through Saturday, September 9
Time: 6:00-11:00 PM on Friday; 1:00-8:00 PM on Saturday
Location: Switchyard Park
Admission: Free

The festival seeks to raise and expand art appreciation, create a space that affirms persons of color in the community, and provide a medium for local talent to showcase visual and performing arts in an environment that engages the audience with artists and their work, while enhancing Bloomington’s spirit of inclusion.


Hoosiers Outrun Cancer

Date: Saturday, September 16
Time: 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
Admission: $30.00 per race participant, increased after August 24

The race traditionally features a 5K Timed Run and a 1 Mile Timed Kids Run, while offering a 5K Family Run/Walk, and 1 Mile Family Run/Walk. A virtual option is available for those that wish to participate but not attend in person.


Monroe County Fall Festival

Date: Thursday, September 21 through Saturday, September 23
Time: 5:00-9:00 PM on Thursday, 5:00-10:00 PM on Friday, 1:00-10:00 PM on Saturday
Location: S. Park Street in Ellettsville

The Festival features a variety of exhibits, a spectacular parade, queen contest, kids' day, craft vendors, lots of great food, and wholesome family entertainment


Bug Fest 2023

Date: Saturday, September 23
Time: 10:30 AM-2:00 PM
Location: Karst Farm Park
Admission: Free

The mission of Bug Fest is to educate the public about insect and spider biology. There will be live insect displays, crafts, games, storytelling, a flea circus, information tables on a variety of subjects, and more!


Witch Craft - Harvest Market Anniversary Party For Gather + oak. 

Date: Saturday, September 23
Time: 11:00 AM-7:00 PM
Location: Monroe County Courthouse Lawn
Admission: Free

Gather and oak. will be taking over the downtown Courthouse lawn with artists of all kinds - handmade makers and crafters - along with astrological readers providing a variety of services from tarot to reiki to gris gris to reading bones. We'll also have musicians throughout the day with a full-lineup of artists selling handmade soaps, illustrations, jewelry and more!


Lotus World Music & Arts Festival

Date: Thursday, September 28 through Sunday, October 1
Time: Varying times — see the lineup 
Location: Several downtown locations and venues
Admission: Several ticket packages are available — buy tickets now

The 30th annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival  is a four-day festival for people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, and backgrounds that is supported by countless community partners, sponsors, and volunteers.


Exterior of The Bluebird on a concert night

The Bluebird Shows

Location: The Bluebird

Enjoy live musical performances by the following artists:

  • Magic City Hippies
    • Date: Saturday, September 2
    • Time: Show begins at 9:00 PM
    • Admission: $25.00 per ticket
  • The Barbie Party
    • Date: Thursday, September 14
    • Time: Show begins at 9:00 PM
    • Admission: $10.00 per ticket
The Bishop Shows

Location: The Bishop

Enjoy live musical performances by the following artists:

  • Austin Lucas
    • Date: Thursday, September 1
    • Time: Show begins at 9:00 PM
    • Admission: $12.00 per ticket
  • Buffalo Nichols 
    • Date: Wednesday, September 6
    • Time: Show begins at 8:00 PM
    • Admission: $15.00 per ticket in advance,  $18.00 per ticket in advance
Buskirk-Chumley Theater Shows

Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Enjoy live musical performances by the following artists:

  • The SteelDrivers
    • Date: Friday, September 8
    • Time: Show begins at 7:30 PM
    • Admission: $30.00-$45.00 per ticket
  • Chris Smither  
    • Date: Friday, September 15
    • Time: Show begins at 7:30 PM
    • Admission: $25.00-$45.00 per ticket
The Comedy Attic Shows

Location: The Comedy Attic

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Jimmy Pardo
    • Date: Friday, September 15 & Saturday, September 16
    • Time: 7:00 pm & 9:15 PM both days
    • Admission: $20.00 per ticket for students, $25.00 per ticket for general admission
  • Sabrina Wu
    • Date: Friday, September 29 & Saturday, September 30
    • Time: 7:00 PM & 9:15 PM both days
    • Admission: $16.00 per students, $20.00 per ticket ticket for general admission
IU Auditorium 

Location: IU Auditorium

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Shane Gillis 
    • Date: Thursday, September 21
    • Time: 7:00 PM
    • Admission: $39.00+ per ticket
  • John Oliver
    • Date: Friday, September 30
    • Time: 7:00 PM
    • Admission: $103.00+ per ticket
IU Cinema

Location: IU Cinema

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping | Staff Selects 
    • Date: Friday, September 1
    • Time: 7:00 PM
    • Admission: $5.00 per ticket
  • Love in the Time of Fentanyl | Ending Overdose Together
    • Date: Tuesday, September 5
    • Time: 7:00 PM
    • Admission: Free, but ticketed 
IU Musical Arts Center

Location: IU Musical Arts Center

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Merry Widow 
    • Date: Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23
    • Time: 7:30 PM
    • Admission: $10.00-$35.00 per ticket
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall 

Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall 

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
    • Date: Thursday, September 28
    • Time: 8:00 PM
    • Admission: $38.50+ per ticket
Switchyard Park

Location: Switchyard Park

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Switchyard Park Concert Series
    • Date: Friday, September 8
    • Time: 6:00-8:30 PM
    • Admission: Free
  • Evening with the Bloomington Community Band
    • Date: Sunday, September 17
    • Time: 6:00 PM
    • Admission: Free
Waldron Arts Center

Location: Waldron Arts Center

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Holmes & Watson
    • Date: Several showings in September
    • Time: Various times
    • Admission: Various ticket options
Waldron, Hill, and Buskirk Park

Location: Waldron, Hill, and Buskirk Park

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959)
    • Date: Saturday, September 2
    • Time: Dusk (around 9:00 PM)
    • Admission: Free

Sporting Events

Hoosiers celebrating a touchdown on the field

IU Football
  • vs. Ohio State
  • vs. Indiana State
  • vs. Akron


Food trucks lined up at Switchyard Park for Food Truck Friday

Bloomington Food Truck Friday

Date: Every Friday
Time: 11:00 AM-9:00 PM
Location: Switchyard Park
Admission: Cost of your food

Every Friday from 11 am - 9 pm, enjoy Bloomington's best food trucks in one place: Switchyard Park!

Gallery Walk

Date: Friday, September 1
Time: 5:00-8:00 PM
Location: Downtown Bloomington galleries
Admission: Free

Discover delightful surprises, inspiration, festivities, and original works of art for purchase. Explore each distinctive gallery in-person or online all year long at your own pace.

Bloomington Community Farmers' Market

Date: Every Saturday
Time: 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
Location: Showers Common
Admission: Free

Locally-grown produce, annual and perennial plants, and a variety of prepared foods are available.

Woolery Farmers' Market

Date: Every Saturday
Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
Location: Woolery Mill
Admission: Free

The Woolery Farmers' Market has a diversity of vendors and products. Enjoy fresh local produce, local meat and poultry, wild Alaskan salmon, dairy products including a wonderful selection of cheese, eggs, honey products, breads, baked goods, locally roasted coffee and specialty teas, beautiful flower bouquets, along with artisanal food and beverages from those small family businesses that you have grown to love.

Tuesday Farmers' Market

Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 4:00 PM-7:00 PM
Location: Switchyard Park
Admission: Free

Visit, shop and support local farmers and growers, and small businesses, at Switchyard Park on Tuesdays, June through September.

Ellettsville Food Truck Wednesdays

Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 4:30 PM-8:30 PM
Location: Marci Jane Lewis Park
Admission: Cost of your food

We are thrilled to announce Ellettsville Food Truck Wednesdays is back! We are looking for amateur musicians to perform during Food Truck Wednesdays.  If you are interested in performing, please call (812) 876-8008. 




There's always something going on in B-Town! Check out the top events happening in September 2023, and consider spending two or three days with us this season.

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Samantha Hyde

Samantha Hyde

Samantha is the Digital Content Developer at Visit Bloomington. She is a proud recent graduate of Indiana University, a lover of concerts, watching Survivor, and is a pro tennis fanatic.