Taking over Freemont Street, along with several other blocks of Downtown Las Vegas later this month, the Life is Beautiful (LIB) festival is bringing together a whole host of the hottest bands, celebrity chefs, street art, interactive exhibits, speakers and live performing arts for one incredibly jam-packed weekend. This is Vegas after all, and this city doesn't do anything on the small scale. The idea is to have learning, food, music and art in total harmony with the ongoing festival by creating interactive experiences tied cohesively in with each other. The co-founder of the festival, Rehan Choudhry said, “We want to expose our festival-goers to many types of dynamic artistic mediums… Las Vegas is home to many of the world’s greatest performance artists, and…we are infusing those stunning influences into our festival experience.”
Michael Jackson ONE, Photo Courtesy of Cirque du Soli
RISE ABOVE: A Street Art Program will feature an international roster of artists, from Interesni Kazki of Ukraine to Vhils of Portugal. Among other things, perhaps what looks to be the highlight of LIB’s visual art lineup, The Odyssey: A Visual Art Experience will feature a multi-media presentation commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum: 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. To top it all off the incredibly gifted casts of Cirque du Soliel’s O, Mystere, Zumanity, Beatles Love, Zarkana, plus Rock of Ages, Jabbawockeez and more will be performing live. Given the fact that this is the first year LIB will be put on, we can’t say for sure, but that sounds pretty amazing.
Imagine Dragons, Photo Courtesty of Life is Beautiful
Now onto the music. The lineup frankly speaks for itself and will resonate well with the people that know and love their music. Some of the biggest names include The Killers, Kings of Leon, Beck, Imagine Dragons, Passion Pit and Empire of the Sun, plus rising-star and newcomer bands like Five Knives, twenty-one pilots, Capital Cities, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Jordan Kate Mitchell, A Crowd of Small Adventures and more. The official schedule has yet to be released, but with the number of bands set to perform, it seems to be a safe bet that the streets of Downtown Las Vegas will be filled with live music the entire time.
Hubert Keller, Photo Courtesy of Life is Beautiful
If there is one thing that Vegas is famous for besides world-class shows, it's food. (Okay, okay gambling is a thing there, but it’s so much less of a focal point these days). Las Vegas is a five-star restaurant mecca and typically it takes some seriously special status to score a tableside visit from the critically-acclaimed chefs that run them; many are household names. But during Life is Beautiful, chefs like Todd English, Tom Colicchio, Cat Cora, Michael Mina, the Bromberg brothers, Charlie Palmer and a killer roster of other chefs, mixologists and restaurants will be there as a part of the culinary program. Along with them will be 24 wineries and 24 breweries putting on a gourmet experience just as interactive as the art.
There are two sides to the foodie elements of the festival: The Culinary Village (a Moroccan Bazaar-themed area with chef-manned stations serving up gourmet bites à la carte), The Alchemy Garden (beer, wine, spirits and tasting flights) and Chefs on Stage (live demonstrations by celebrity chefs) are all included in the price of the regular festival pass. Additionally there will be some exclusive events for a separate ticket price: Elizabeth Blau & Hubert Keller will be hosting an eight-course dinner; there will be a charity event for Take a Stand and to kick off the festivities a party on Friday night being billed as Grills & Guitars.
Photo Courtesy of Life is Beautiful
For the final element to the weekend, there will also be a whole schedule of panels, keynotes, speeches and workshops put on by over 25 noted speakers, aiming “to inspire festival goers to expand their perspective on what is possible when you simply choose to ‘do what you love.’” A nice way to enrich an already well-rounded festival if you ask me.
Life is Beautiful aims to cover four key components as a part of the festival weekend: Learning is Beautiful, Art is Beautiful, Music is Beautiful and Food is Beautiful. Well I couldn’t agree more with any of those, and if things go as planned, I'd say the creators put together a rather sophisticated event as opposed to your typical festival, appealing to a wide range of interests with cool music, first class art and performances, award-winning food and an intellectual aspect thrown in for good measure.
Mystere, Photo Courtesy of Cirque du Soliel
The $349 VIP Day Pass will get you access to both Saturday and Sunday, access to the VIP lounge with shade, lounge seating and other forms of entertainment, special viewing areas at the main stages and restrooms and special concessions for food, wine and spirits reserved especially for VIPs. Basically that all equates to not having to fight the crowds, which in our book is hands-down worth it. As a bonus, VIPs will also get a Commemorative Poster and maybe an extra goody or two.
If you want to really take it to the next level there will also be cabanas, with 20 VIP passes to the festival, complimentary beverages (including alcohol), snacks and more. Or you can also reserve a table with six VIP passes, complimentary soft drinks and water (no alcohol). Both options come with a host.
The Life is Beautiful Festival will be going on October 26-27. One or two-day general admission tickets for the festival will run $120 and $160.