Music festivals have always been a big part of pop culture as well as youth culture. In 2013, Las Vegas added Life is Beautiful to the essential music festival list that every kid wanted to go to. When COVID-19 affected the music industry by canceling all live performances, no one really knew if live music would ever be the same again. Life is Beautiful this year truly demonstrated that nothing can break the music industry and live performances are back and better than ever.
Another thing that festivals bring to the table is showcasing small companies and locally-owned businesses. Life is Beautiful being located right in the middle of downtown allows for all of these local businesses to participate. Their shops located in the “Market in the Alley” have every kind of good that people could think of.
Some of the goods include: handmade jewelry by American Metalsmith, locally made natural soap by Davida Handcraft Soap, all the eco-friendly essentials you need by Me Mother Earth and so many others. Life is Beautiful has brought together the local business community of Las Vegas in their time of need. After such a hard year, they gave the public a chance to see what is locally out there, so people can support their local economy and local businesses.
The Farm Stand Experience at this year’s festival really brought the farm to the table. With food trucks sprinkled throughout the festival, the farmstand experience was a smaller area of the mass of cuisine offered this year. It’s purpose was to bring local chefs together to showcase whole locally-grown food. David Chang’s Las Vegas restaurant Majordomo participated as well as local UNLV favorite Tiabi Waffles. This experience has options for just about all dietary needs.
The food trucks throughout the festival did not disappoint either. For instance, there was the famous Cousins Maine Lobster Truck and the new Las Vegas delicacy Afters Ice Cream. Afters Ice Cream is set to open their new Vegas location in the Virgin Hotel.
The Cocktail School allowed festival goers to come and make their own alcoholic concoction. With bartenders from Bacardi and other large companies, this experience allowed bartenders to give festival-goers a chance to learn about what it takes to make a good cocktail and all the work that goes into it.
Obviously the music is the main attraction at a music festival. Friday’s heavy-hitting lineup kicked off the weekend with a bang with Megan Thee Stallion and Tame Impala. UNLV student Omar Haneefzai commented on Friday’s Megan Thee Stallion performance, saying “I know it sounds crazy, but Megan Thee stallion didn’t have a bad set. She has crafted a movement which fueled all the “hot girls” in the crowd. Quite the show to say the least.” Tame Impala did not disappoint either by singing some of the popular crowd favorites.
Saturday carried off into a strong line up from Friday night’s heavy hitters as well, with Green Day headlining the night. Green Day has become one of the staples of American bands that started in the ‘90s. All ages really do want to be an American Idiot.
When it comes to three day festivals, it is safe to say that it is expected that the third day doesn’t live up to day one or two. Performers are tired, vendors are tired, and even the attendees are tired. However, that’s not how Life is Beautiful or the people who attend this festival do things. Headliner Billie Eilish rocked the crowd with not only some of her more upbeat song hits such as “Bad Guy” but also got everyone to sing along to “everything i wanted”. Festival coordinators made no mistake in having her performance wrap up the weekend.
As for this year in whole, the pressure was from the whole world as the festival made it’s post COVID-19 lockdown debut, and this year did not disappoint. From the local market, to the eclectic fresh food, and stellar performances, Life is Beautiful will be expected to top this year’s lineup in 2022, if that’s even possible.