A week has come and gone since last weekend’s festivities at Life is Beautiful. This marks the 3rd year in a row I have made the pilgrimage to glorious downtown Las Vegas for what has become my all-time favorite festival. Words cannot explain all that encompasses this unique festival, however, I shall try.
This year brought on some interesting changes to the event. For starters, the Art portions of the festival felt amped up. This is a welcome change and presented more opportunities to wander around and explore the nooks and crannies that make Life is Beautiful so special.
The first new place I wandered into was the Santa Fe art collective Meow Wolf’s Art Motel, which featured 20 reimagined rooms full of colorful creations and over-the-top productions. The rooms ranged from foam covered floors, blacked out spaces with projected fractals, a room that would take a picture of you and display it on the walls, an interactive laser harp and so much more.
The second new addition, located right outside the Art Motel, was the Okuda Bear installation. the colorful bear was crafted by Spanish sensation Okuda San Miguel. With its geometric pattern mirroring that of the adjacent mural, the area was a hub of social attention and relaxation. I found myself just staring at the way the geometric patterns would catch the light.
The third and probably my favorite addition to the festival was located behind the famous S shape big rig trucks installation, where a neon blanket adorned with glittering LED lights would display swirling colors and images. Festival-goers would lie under the light show while classical music played from speakers. I laid on the grass for over an hour just staring at this beautiful display, which was rumored to have appeared at burning man.
One of the things that set Life is Beautiful apart from other festivals is the food. If you have been there before you have to believe me there was more food than in previous years. The choices ranged from pizza to burgers, Vegan delicacies, garlic fries, rolled ice cream. I even dined on one of the most delicious lobster rolls I have ever eaten in my life. There was more food than I could ask for in the culinary villages.
Life is Beautiful is such a unique festival that the last thing to bring up is the music. This by no means is the least important part of the festival but rather the cherry on the top of a wonderful weekend. Dynamic performances were found throughout the weekend with highlights including Zeds Dead, Lorde, Blink 182, Kaskade, Pretty Lights Live, Deorro, Lil Dickey, Muse, Big Gigantic, and ZHU, who by the way arrived on stage in a Porsche.
Oh yeah did I forget to mention The Gorillaz! Across the entire festival the sound was out of this world this year. The new and improved Freemont Stage (shown below), where most of the EDM was played, has been expanded from a small canopy to a monstrous tent with dynamically better sight lines and wall to wall visuals. Even the downtown stage, which is where Cirque du Soleil and The Blue Man Group warmed up the crowd with an inspiring performance seemed to be a bit bigger this year.
The word is out, and this is no longer the best-kept secret in Vegas. Life is Beautiful sold out fast last year and this year it did take some more planning to navigate the crowd. However, with a redesigned layout that provided more alternative paths to get from stage to stage I did not feel it was completely overcrowded, but let me tell you something right now. Do not sleep on tickets to this next year. With the success of this year, I think it is safe to say the tickets for next year will not be around long. This festival has something for everyone, be it the seasoned festival goer, the festival noob who wants to get their feet wet, jam sesh fans, emo fans, rockers and ravers of all ages. There is just something magical about walking out of a festival directly onto the blinking lights of Freemont street that cannot be explained. Go for the music, go for the art, go for the comedy, the fact is you simply have to experience Life is Beautiful at least once in your life.
All photos provided by Life is Beautiful.