Festival Recap: Life is Beautiful creates urban utopia in Downtown Las Vegas

Last weekend, Life is Beautiful Music & Arts Festival took over the Fremont East Entertainment District in Downtown Las Vegas. For three days, thousands of festival-goers roamed 18 city blocks filled with four stages featuring 83 musical performers, 35 inspirational speakers, 10 new street art murals, 50 art installations, and more.

In its fourth year, Life is Beautiful once again created the perfect block party vibe. With entertainment options ranging from eye-catching performances by Cirque du Soleil and comedy sets at the Kinland House to interactive body art marbling and inspiring talks during the “Ideas” speaker series, the team behind the festival once again proved the event was much more than just your average music festival.

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The weekend kicked off with stellar performances from the likes of hip-hop collaborative Banks & Steelz, jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, indie rocker City and Colour, and the mysterious house music star Zhu. Friday’s most anticipated sets took place on the Downtown Stage, featuring incredible performances by Tegan & Sara, Bloc Party, and a closing set by British rock band Mumford & Sons.

Day two kicked off with an enlightening conversation from RuPaul Charles, the mastermind behind Logo’s “Drag Race” and “Drag Race All-Stars,” at the Troubador stage. He encouraged the crowd to embrace their “sweet, sensitive souls” as they go through the adventures life has to offer.

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On the music end, Saturday proved to be the festival’s star. the Ambassador stage shined with performances from international superstars including Bob Moses and Crystal Castles. South African-duo Die Antwoord stole the show with an insanely high-energy performance that was both a visual spectacle and easily the weekend’s best dance party.

For the bass heads, the Troubadour stage, organized by Insomniac, was the place to be with wobbly sets by Spag Heddy, Seven Lions, Excision, Snails and Bassnectar among the bill. Over in the northwest corner of the festival at the Downtown Stage, Leon Bridges stunned the audience with his soulful vocals and Empire of the Sun delivered a satisfying performance featuring over-the-top costumes and props.

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The weekend closed out with notable performances from rockers Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World, and The Lumineers. But Sunday night was positioned to be one of the best for dance music fans with main stage sets by Chromeo, Flume and Major Lazer. The party continued at the Troubadour, where AlunaGeorge performed hits including “Automatic” and “White Noise.” The EDM-fueled stage closed out the festival with a groovy house set by Duke Dumont.

Fans of Life is Beautiful Music & Arts Festival can mark their 2017 calendars as the event announced dates for its fifth-year return to Downtown Las Vegas on Sept. 22-24, 2017. The organizers released a small batch of presale passes, which have since sold out. For more information on next year’s event head to lifeisbeautiful.com.

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Ashley Trevizo

Ashley is a contributor to the EDMCalendar.com family. Based in the thriving city of Las Vegas, she’s always had a knack for live music and has been to countless festivals throughout the United States. An avid fan of the house and techno scenes, she found her passion for dance music in the borderland of El Paso, Tex., back in 2007 and has been chasing adventures on the dance floor ever since. Email her at atrevizomc@gmail.com or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @billababs.

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