Written By: Ally Tatosian 5 Things Not to Miss at Life Is Beautiful
Life is Beautiful takes over the streets of Downtown Las Vegas September 23 to 25 and it’s more than just a music festival. Now in its fourth year, the event brings together tastes, ideas, art and sounds for an all-encompassing feel-good experience where positivity prevails, culture and creativity thrive and transformation occurs.
Curious about the gathering? Get the crew together, devise where you will rock out (there are four stages), plan what to chow down on and who to be inspired by. A trip to Life is Beautiful is a weekend filled with so much talent that it might be hard to choose what to see over the course of three jam-packed days so it’s best to come prepared. Here are five things you won’t want to miss this year.
1. Music: J. Cole
Hip-hop artist, J. Cole, takes over the Downtown Stage Saturday night. With headliners such as Mumford & Sons, Major Lazer and Jane’s Addiction, lifeisbeautiful.com allows you to create your own personalized lineup. While the big names are alluring, take advantage of discovering something new thanks to the incredible list of fresh talents on offer including Leon Bridges, Kamasi Washington, Kehlani and Brittany Rose. Throw back to those punk pop roots and make sure you get to “The Middle” and catch Jimmy Eat World as they hit the stage Sunday night.
2. Art: Martin Whatson
While walking to the next set on your list, keep an eye out for an original work from stencilist Martin Whatson, who comes to Life is Beautiful as part of the program curated by Just Kids Official. You’ll be mesmerized by the Norwegian artist’s mix of graffiti and black and white stencils. Also check out works by Shepard Fairey, Tristan Eaton, Fafi, among many other luminaries of the street art world including Amanda Parer’s Intrude, a collection of towering illuminated bunnies.
3. Ideas: Brad & Bryan Manning
Fashion gurus Bryan and Bradford Manning of Two Blind Brothers speak on their fashion line and dedication to finding a cure to the diseases that cause blindness. Catch the full roster of more than speakers from various disciplines, including digital interface innovator and founder of Novalia, Dr. Kate Stone, who recently created DJ deck pizza boxes for Pizza Hut; “Phineas and Ferb” actor Vincent Martella; and Joe De Sena, the founder and CEO of Spartan Race.
The Ideas series has a lineup of entertainment and activations between presentations including Jen Kramer, awarded 2016 Female Magician of the Year by the International Magicians Society; Las Vegas entertainer Jay R Beatbox; and entrepreneur Chip Conrad.
4. Taste: Dragon Grille
Sriracha mac and cheese—lets just stop there. When you want to get your grub on, check out local food truck Dragon Grille, specializing in modern Asian fusion from egg rolls to bulgogi philly cheesestack. Life is Beautiful is known for its great tastes that reflect Las Vegas’ culinary scene. At what other festival can you get bites from Nobu and STK, alongside local favorites such as Honey Salt and Aloha Kitchen. The spirits and beer programs are also both highly lauded, so track down a refreshing Effen Mule when due for cocktail time.
5. Brand Experiences: Vita Coco Waterslide
Cool off from the Vegas heat with a “fully sub-mersive” water feature, thanks to the Vita Coco waterslide. Also catch pop-up performances by Cirque du Soleil, take a ride on the Ferris wheel and buy a piece of art to take home from the group show Crime on Canvas with big names such as Shag, Francis Bean Cobain, Buff Monster and Brandon Boyd.
(Plus, don’t forget to stream the Life is Beautiful Festival radio on Pandora to get you in the mood.)