Downtown Las Vegas was at a stand still last weekend as over 90,000 people hailed in order to commemorate the Life Is Beautiful festival.
Since its inception, Life Is Beautiful, LIB, has deemed itself as not your ordinary festival. Regardless of the depth or spectrum in terms of which theory you choose to define evolution, it unequivocally boils down to growth from a simple to a more complex form, in which LIB has continued to execute consecutively. LIB emerges the growth of many aspects such as: music, art, education, and culinary that we as a human race count on as 'life' is the theory of evolution to me.
LIB puts its attendees through an experience, as they fill the streets of Downtown Las Vegas by immediately immersing them into miles and miles of positivity. After three days of live music from over 70 stellar performances such as: Foo Fighters, Kanye West, Matt & Kim, Tune-Yards, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Neon Trees, Panic at the Disco, Alt-J, and many more, there was a culinary experience as well as art activations from local artists to help spread the message of love, hope, and positivity.
Many celebrities were also in attendance such as: MTV star TJ Lavin, UFC fighter Demetrious Martin, Imagine Dragon's Dan Reynolds, Holly Madison and her husband Pasquale Rotella.
Day one of LIB started off on the right foot. Newcomers Milky Chance and high energy duo Priory kicked off the day in the earlier part of the day. Phantogram took over the downtown stage late afternoon. Attendees were spilling over into the streets trying to get a glimpse of this set. Neon Trees put on a heartfelt performance. Playing on the Western Stage Neon Trees frontman', Tyler Glenn, let the crowd in on his life by discussing his coming out while spreading anecdotes of triumph and inspiration. Donning a bright ensemble paired with a tank top he grabbed from the Golden Nugget, because he wanted to 'support the locals', Neon Trees played a few favorites such as 'Animal' and 'Sleeping With a Friend'. Throughout the set he spread words of encouragement to the audience by stating, "I was bullied in high school and I still think life is beautiful". As coming out as a gay mormon from Provo, Utah Glenn closed the set by letting people know there was a lot on his mind with no filter as they closed with 'Everybody Talks'.
Ending the night with non-other than Kanye West, who was said to have had 'happy rants' this time around. Kim Kardashian and The entire group, which included: Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Malika and Khadijah Haqq, Robin Antin, Jonathan Cheban and Simon Huck took in Kanye's performance at the festival before heading to Kim K's birthday celebration which was held at Tao. On the other side was Panic at the Disco, who undoubtedly put on a stellar high energy performance.
During day two Chef Rick Moonen took the stage at Container Park with singer Kimbra, where he demonstrated his preparation of True North Salmon with pickled cucumbers and horseradish crème fraiche. As for the end of the learning sessions, motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez joined festival founder Rehan Choudhry in the “You are Beautiful” speaker session to inspire and remind attendees of one of the central themes of the three-day event.
Day two of LIB was packed as ever,and there was one surprise in particular that was incredible. Top acts were: Fitz & The Tantrums, Lionel Richie, Alt-J, MSMR, OutKast, Matt & Kim and of course Ok-Go, whom dawned a shirt of Lionel to pay homage to the legend.
In between sets all throughout the weekend the Lionel Richie Conga Line was where it was at. Festival goers lined up every half hour to party on foot for Lionel Richie’s Conga express, dancing to his classics throughout the footprint, in order to prepare for his set which was on Saturday night of LIB.
Leading up to Lionel, MSMR gave festival goers a glimpse of what's to come Sunday by performing a song by Artic Monkey's.
Lionel Richie connected generations with a high energy performance that kept the packed crowd dancing “all night long.” Richie treated the audience to an encore of Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World” and engaged the audience in a duet of “Endless Love.” Keeping the vibe going was Alt-J which was located at the Ambassador Stage. Playing favorites such as: 'Left Hand Free', 'Tesselate', and many others, Alt-J, which was formed in 2007, played a set full of eclectic beats, soul, and funk.
Closing out day two were 'The Flaming Lips', known for their karate chops, neon colors, and backflips, did not let the crowd down. At one point after “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1,” lead singer Wayne Coyne pulled two fans on stage. 'Life is Beautiful' was written into one couple’s love story when a marriage proposal occurred on stage during The Flaming Lips’ performance of “Do You Realize?” The best part- she said yes! What an excellent way to close out day two of the festival!
The last and final day of LIB was an uncanny feeling. Knowing that something so unique, incredible, and influential was coming to an end was felt by many. Although taking it all in was necessary, still that uneasy, unsettling feeling that it was ending wasn't easy. Highlights from this night almost seem uncountable. How can you top acts such as: Broken Bells, Arctic Monkeys, and Foo Fighters.
Of course Arctic Monkeys played classics, but they surprisingly played a few newer songs as well. Arabella, and R U Mine, was a surefire way to get the crowd dancing, however, the way lead singer Alex Turner serenaded the crowd to an almost acoustic version of I Wanna Be Yours was by far the calm before the storm.
Foo Fighters took over the Downtown Stage, and played for two hours, which was clearly not enough time for any true Foo Fighter fan'! " Here's what is going to happen, front man Dave Grohl shouted. We are going to play as many songs as we can and shut it down!"
Foo Fighters just released their album, 'Sonic Highways', which is a very personal album, as each was written in that particular city they were in at the time of inception. Dave Grohl was very in tune with the crowd as well as the band in its entirety. Foo Fighters were on stage to connect, to please, and to put on one memorable show, in which it was. "We haven't played here in a long fu*kin time, shouted Grohl. You know what that means- it means we are going to play a lot of sings we haven't played in a while," Grohl stated before they played a few classic hits. The band played hits from the 90s such as 'Under Pressure' and even older classics from Tom Petty, 'Breakdown' and The Rolling Stones 'Miss You', before their hit from 2005, 'Best of You'.
Grohl walking through the crowd to take in the crowd from another angle was completely beautiful. The crowd stood there in awe as they hung on to his every word, every breath, just not wanting the night to end. Closing out their two-hour set with one of their best hits, 'Everlong', left everyone speechless. Although there were nearly 90,000 people at LIB a silence took over the crowd which sent chills for miles and miles, while Grohl took in one last breath in order to take in the crowd one last time before finishing.
Foo Fighters played an explosive set with nothing but pure gratitude and love. From drummer Taylor Hawkins' happy go lucky smile to Dave Grohls' tough love and dropping f-bombs like it was his job- it was all pure brilliance.
No matter what the end goal is individually, LIB was a weekend to reimagine and re-envision your goals, and subsequently grow together, come together, even if it is for one weekend, we rely on each other-and that is completely ok. Without a doubt the charisma and the embodiment of what this weekend meant to everyone was more than satisfying. It's no wonder why LIB has quickly turned the negative connotation of what many may consider a 'festival'. LIB is much more than that-it is an experience, it is revealing, it is- clarity.
Incase you didn't need another reason to actively await the return of Life Is Beautiful for next year, here is a breakdown of the festival by the numbers:
-70,000: Total square footage of grassy space inside the city footprint
-25,600: Number of man hours clocked in the building out of the festival
-3,500: Number of total staff (and volunteers) working the festival all 3 days
-3, 701: Number of rubber ducks in the City Motel Pool
-1,000: Number of Love Note Easter Eggs hidden inside the event space
-1,350: Number of tacos served from the solar kitchens
-3,600: Number of attendees who were inspired by the Learning lecture series
-346: Number of love letters acted out in “Reasons Why I Love You”
-550: Pounds of confetti showered on the crowd
-30-35: Average number of miles walked by festival attendees and staff in total
-1: Number of on-stage marriage proposals
I can honestly say, speaking for myself-an avid music festival 'goer', Life Is Beautiful is on to something glorious! The team at Langdon Flynn, and Another Planet Entertainment have flawlessly pulled off another stellar event. Closing out a perfect weekend in sheer and utter shock, everyone left the festival feeling nothing less than a new outlook on life, themselves, and of course feeling absolutely stunning. Until next year, remember 'you are beautiful'.
LIB Sponsors & Partners
Sponsors and Partners of Life is Beautiful Festival include Wirtz Beverage Nevada, WEU/ World Trust Foundation, Dos Equis, Zappos.com, the D Las Vegas, KETEL ONE Vodka, The LINQ, Travel + Leisure, Marriott Hotels, Pandora, Las Vegas Events, Silicon Valley Bank, CBS Radio, The City of Las Vegas, Whole Foods, Cirque du Soleil®, Sub-Zero and Wolf and Westar Kitchen and Bath, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Hendrick’s Gin, 7UP, Bacardi, Jim Beam Kentucky Fire, Alex & Ani, Maui Jim, Café Bustello, ORGANIZE, Red Bull, Downtown Project, US Foods, Chef Works, Le Creuset, Dansko, Movember, Airstream 2 Go and online content partner POPSUGAR.