Scorching temperatures made for a fiery atmosphere at Life is Beautiful 2022. The festival turned up the heat once again with headlining performances, cuisine, comedy sets, art installations and plenty of opportunities to break a sweat from dancing.
Life is Beautiful kicked off on Sept. 16 with live music from Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, Shaggy, T-Pain, Alison Wonderland, Migos, Charli XCX, and many more.
Arctic Monkeys got the crowd pumped at Downtown Stage by opening with their hit song “Do I Wanna Know?” and closed out the night with an encore performance that set the tone for the rest of the festival.
23-year-old Payton Collins traveled from Columbus, Ohio to see her favorite band, Cage the Elephant.
“Whenever [my friends and I] are not wanting to see someone at the festival, we’ve just been experiencing Vegas,” Collins said.
In addition to its main stages, Life is Beautiful also returned with the Rising Star Stage for a second year. This is where festival goers were able to watch local acts SECOS, The Dollheads, Decaying Tigers and Jae Douglass throughout the weekend.
Laughter from The Kicker Comedy Club rumbled the streets on Friday when “Saturday Night Live” cast member Sarah Sherman appeared with HBO’s “Hacks” star Hannah Einbinder, and comedian Joel Kim Booster, among others. Comedians Ricky Velez and Jordan Rock, as well as “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” performer, Latrice Royale, also kept audiences in good spirits on Saturday and Sunday night.
With over 70 culinary options to choose from, there was a menu on nearly every street corner. Health-conscious food truck, 50 Shades Tastier, is where 33-year-old Dana Wheeler said she sipped watermelon juice under the blazing sun.
“I was dehydrated so my husband went and got me the most refreshing drink nearby,” Wheeler said.
41-year-old Jennifer Harris stopped by The Pizza Shop for a cheese slice and a handcrafted berry lemonade, but what she enjoyed most about the festival was Saturday’s headliner, Gorillaz.
“I loved the way that Gorillaz was able to captivate the audience,” Harris said. “It was such a high energy performance that the crowd was just feeding off of. I also liked that there was a good variety of backup singers and guest performers, like JPEGMAFIA.”
Gorillaz was the last of many celebrated artists to hit the Downtown Stage on Sept. 17. The group was preceded by Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Alexander 23, Bob Moses, Isaiah Rashad, and Lorde.
A medical incident in the audience caused a brief pause in Lorde’s performance; the singer halted the show in order to call attention to a person in need. Once help had arrived, the Life is Beautiful alumni continued with her newly dyed blonde hair and electrifying hot pink outfit, a very different image from her last performance at the festival in 2017.
Other notable performers on Saturday included Marc Rebillet, Coi Leray, Alessia Cara, Kygo, Slowthai, Neil Frances and 100 Gecs.
The Blue Man Group was spotted around the festival before popping up alongside Alessia Cara and Marc Rebillet during their respective gigs. The Blue Man Group added its signature touch of entertainment to the unexpecting audience members.
Sunday’s music headliners were Sylvian Esso, Jack Harlow, Calvin Harris, Dermot Kennedy, Rico Nasty and Beach House. The EDM artist named Said The Sky drew the festival to a close with the final performance of the year.
Beach House immersed fans in a dreamy performance on the BACARDÍ Stage while promoting their latest album, Once Twice Melody. This was the band’s debut at Life is Beautiful, with their last local concert having been at the Psycho Las Vegas music festival in 2019.
Beyond the music, attendees had the chance to stroll through Market in the Alley all three days of the festival, an area designated for local vendors which resembled First Friday’s monthly setup.
Chef Gina Marinelli also hosted an exclusive “Stranger Things” inspired dine-in event on Sunday, pairing wagyu beef with caviar and Eggo waffles.
Artwork flooded the streets of downtown, from murals to sculptures and interactive engineering. Artist Ashley Ramage’s light-up inflatables were a fan-favorite this year, as well as hand drawn patterns by abstract artist Pretty Done and an architectural installation by multimedia artist Neon Saltwater.
The Life is Beautiful team is already looking forward to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the festival next year, with a superfan presale underway for the 2023 celebration.