Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Life is Beautiful in Downtown Las Vegas. The annual music festival spans 3 days and features an incredible lineup. This year Green Day, Tame Impala, and Billie Eilish headlined the weekend. Oh and did I mention it’s in Vegas?
This was my third time attending Life is Beautiful. The third time was just as magical as the first. I think a lot of folks overlook this festival because it has only been around since 2013 and doesn’t carry the same recognition as bigger ‘brand’ name festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, etc. However, what it lacks in recognition, it makes up for with unique festival experiences for attendees. The festival squeezes itself into 9 closed blocks of downtown Las Vegas. The surrounding buildings are covered with giant murals that change from year to year. The grounds are also littered with life sized 3D art pieces and sculptures…it’s an instagram influencer’s dream.
Larger than Life Murals
The life sized art and murals are just the tip of the iceberg for this festival. Life is Beautiful has used its urban surroundings to its advantage by turning parking structures into cooling stations w/silent discos, empty buildings into walk through art exhibits, and bars into free cocktail school sessions! They transformed this unassuming vegas neighborhood into a giant adult playground featuring a killer soundtrack.
Walking Distance from Downtown Vegas
Another major perk for this festival is that there are 5+ hotels/casinos within a 10 min walk of the front gates. After a long day of music and walking, it’s nice not to deal with shuttles or rideshare. However, since these hotels are right along Fremont Street, they are a bit rowdy until the early hours of the morning but hey it’s Vegas.
Amazing Musical Acts
I bought a ticket as soon as I saw Green Day on the lineup. Green Day has been a bucket list band for me since I was 15 years old so I jumped at the chance to finally see them live. Green Day did not disappoint. Of course they played all of the hits including “American Idiot,” ”When I Come Around,” and “When September Ends.” Even though lead singer Billie Joel Amstrong is 49 years old, he rocks out like he is the same 20 something that released Dookie almost 30 years ago. The crowd echoed every word throughout the 90 min set. Unsurprisingly, Green Day was the best act of the weekend.
Another band that really blew the crowd out of the water was Glass Animals. They opened with the title track off their album Dreamland. While not a crowd favorite, it really set the tone for an electric dream like ride through their 60 min set. The band explained that this was their first festival back and you could see it in their performance as they bounced around the stage.
Discover New Music
A festival is a great place to discover new music too. I picked up a few new favorites over the weekend including Mob Rich, ODIE, and Chiiild. There were a few familiar faces that took the stage in the early timeslots. Provo’s own Backseat Lovers drew an impressive crowd for a 3PM Sunday set. The crowd loved them. Big things to come for the Backseat Lover boys!
One of my favorite experiences at the festival was attending cocktail school! Huge shoutout to Gene (@gene_samuel) and The Bunkhouse Saloon (@bunkhouse_saloon) for keeping me “hydrated” through the weekend! 3 times a day they hosted a FREE cocktail session. Yes, I did say free. Who doesn’t love free drinks? In under 30 mins you get to learn how to make (and try!) 3 different cocktails from local bartenders. I didn’t know Vegas had such a big bar scene until I went to a session at The Bunkhouse. There are dozens of niche bars around the Vegas area that I am excited to check out. Each class is a different experience so I would recommend going more than once!
I had a great weekend and I can’t wait to do it again next year. If you love live music and live in the Salt Lake Valley, Life is Beautiful is a no brainer. Don’t sleep on this festival!
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