New multiweek arts festival brings more than 200 events to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — From concerts and live performances to immersive art installations, the inaugural Charlotte International Arts Festival is set to bring more than 200 events and attractions to the Queen City from Sept. 16 - Oct. 2.

Blumenthal Performing Arts is hosting the 17-day festival that will showcase local and international arts across genres, mediums, and cultures.

Events will be held at locations from Uptown to Ballantyne with many being free and open to the public. Ticketed events and performances will range from $5 and up.

“Blumenthal has been building its capacity for a festival of this scope for quite some time, from the Charlotte Jazz Festival through Charlotte Shout!,” said Blumenthal CEO Tom Gabbard in a new release. “Charlotte is a top-25 metropolitan city. Our community is ready for a festival on the scale of other major arts festivals around the world. We are excited to bring compelling art and entertainment from all over the world, as well as highlight the rich international cultures right here in town.”

We’ve highlighted several events below. Click here to see the full schedule.

Architects of Air’s Luminarium — From Nottingham, U.K., this immersive walk-through experience features labyrinthian tunnels and cavernous domes of saturated color accompanied by a gentle sensory soundscape. Sept. 16 – Oct. 2 in Ballantyne’s Backyard. Tickets are $5.

Blue Lapis Light — Watch family-friendly performances featuring aerial dancers swinging from a 12-story building, ground dancers, and larger-than-life projection-mapped imagery. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center on East 4th Street. Admission is free.

Man by Amanda Parer — From Australian artist Amanda Parer and the studio that previously brought the “big bunnies” to Uptown, “Man” is a large-scale, contemporized version of Rodin’s “Thinker.” Sept. 16 – Oct. 2 at Ballantyne’s Backyard. Free and open to the public.

Bloom! — See colorful aerialists perform atop 15-foot swaying poles. At various times and dates during the festival at Romare Bearden Park, 20-minute performances will be held. Click here to see the schedule.

Queen Charlotte’s Secret Garden — Did you know Queen Charlotte was an amateur botanist? Peek at what her garden may have looked like. Sept. 16 – Oct. 2 at Ballantyne’s Backyard. Free and open to the public.

Birdmen — See huge, illuminated creatures flying above. Performance dates and times vary. Ballantyne’s Backyard and Romare Bearden Park. Admission is free.

Mentalgassi — A trio of German artists have combined photography, sculpture, image manipulation, and street art to create playful large-scale photographs on outdoor objects. Sept. 16 – Oct. 2 at Ballantyne’s Backyard. Free and open to the public.

Pneuhaus’ Compound Camera — Explore a dome made of 109 inflatable pinhole cameras to see what it might be like to stand inside the eye of a fly.

Live performances include:

International Tosco Music Party — Sept. 25 at Knight Theater. Tickets cost $18.50.

Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble — Sept. 28 at Knight Theater. Tickets cost $24.50.

VS Guitar Duo & Friends — Sept. 29-30 at Stage Door Theater. Tickets cost $35.

(Watch below: Carowinds to launch new aviation-themed area in 2023)