By Shaniece Henderson

Contrary to popular belief, the arts scene in Indianapolis is flourishing.  Check it out for yourself this Saturday, September 22, when the contemporary art and music festival ORANJE takes place at the Historic Coca-Cola Bottling Plant at the corner of Mass Ave and College.

ORANJE is preparing for its 14th and final year. Attendees can expect visual art, live music, fashion, performance art, food and drinks in the industrial environment. The festival, open to attendees who are 21 years of age or older, runs 8 p.m. until midnight and tickets are $20 at the door. Parking will be onsite at the venue.

ORANJE is not your typical art fair or music festival because you don’t have to enjoy one particular style of art to enjoy ORANJE. Indy has a plethora of talented artists who want to showcase their work, and many local artists reached out to ORANJE to take part in the festivities.

With the eclectic mix of artists from various mediums and musicians from various genres, the festival is a chance to “Indulge your senses,” says ORANJE’s founder Ryan Hickey.

“I want attendees to come check out everything possible! We turn down hundreds of artists and musicians to be confident that you’ll appreciate everything there,” says Hickey.

Their music lineup has everything from rap, brought to you by Pope Adrian Bless, pop put on by S.M. Wolf, dubstep DJed by Shy Guy Says and many more. Twenty-two visual artists coming from all different styles and backgrounds are featured as well. This year, you will be able to find painters, filmmakers, composers, cartoonists, chefs and pretty much any other skilled artists you can think of.

Ryan Hickey first brought ORANJE to Indianapolis with his business partner, Adam Crockett, after spending some time in the Netherlands. Experiences from his trip inspired Hickey to build the festival during the spring of 2002. “ORANJE is the Dutch spelling for orange,” says Hickey, “and the first year we did ORANJE, the building was at the corner of Madison and Orange Street, so it felt right.”

From that year forward, ORANJE has showcased the work of 300 artists, 150 musicians and indulged the senses of 20,000 attendees. 

ORANJE is having its final run in the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant before it is redeveloped into the Bottleworks District.

“A big part of the identity of ORANJE was created in the old warehouses downtown” explains Hickey, “Now that Indianapolis has grown as a city and most of those buildings have been redeveloped, we feel like it doesn’t make sense to do ORANJE in another location because that’s not what ORANJE is.”

Don’t forget to bring a little cash, your appetite and your ID to support our local entrepreneurs. The event will also have vendors, including the artists in the show, food, adult beverages and even a pop-up coffee shop to keep you just as energetic as the festival itself.

Be sure to get out of your house this weekend, experience Indy’s finest and “indulge your senses.” For more information, visit the event website here.

Shaniece is a recent journalism graduate with a passion for local music and culture within her hometown of Indianapolis. Check out some of her work at http://shenderson.contently.com/.