Here it is. The first of two posts about the inaugural Life is Beautiful Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. FINALLY, amirite??
Before we headed to the actual festival site that Saturday morning, Rona and I decided to stop by the London Lounge in Planet Hollywood. Alt 98.7 invited all the contest winners and their guests to drop by for some complementary drinks, but there turned out to be a bigger surprise in store when we arrived. We were actually the first ones there and the lady at the registration table let us know that there were going to be some bands and artists coming by for intimate interviews and performances on both days. Definitely exciting!
Kade, one of the Alt 98.7 disc jockeys, welcomed us when we walked into the area near the stage and I admit that I was kind of starstruck. He didn’t even introduce himself and I asked if he was Kade, knowing full well that it definitely was. Anyway, the first band that was scheduled to show up was Portugal. The Man. Okay, I just want to clarify that the band’s actual name is “Portugal. The Man”, random period and all. I really like their song “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” so we stayed to watch them perform and get interviewed.
After some waiting, next up was Capital Cities. Honestly, I didn’t like the song “Safe and Sound” much at first, but it has been growing on me each time I hear it. They didn’t perform, but I did enjoy their interview. Plus, Rona and I got to take a picture with them!
We decided to just head over to the festival afterwards since we didn’t come all the way to Vegas to stay in Planet Hollywood the whole weekend. We bought a weekend parking pass that came with shuttle transportation to the festival, but I really don’t recommend it. There are actually cheaper parking options closer to the entrance if you look hard enough. I guess now we know.
So like I mentioned earlier, this was the first ever Life is Beautiful Festival and, according to Kade, the first alternative music festival hosted in Las Vegas. Not only did they feature musical acts, but they had sections devoted to food, art, and learning as well. Rona and I decided not to go straight to one of the concerts and explore a bit while we still had daylight.
I even got to shoot a paintball gun for a free shirt provided by…the D. Yep, there is a hotel called the D and their slogan on the front of the shirt actually says “Long on fun. Short on ordinary.” Yep. At least the Life is Beautiful logo is on the back. Then again, this shirt is also an extra large and I had no plans of wearing it in the first place. Future arts and crafts material?
Capital Cities was performing on the Ambassador stage so we made our way there and decided to catch a view of the concert while riding the Ferris wheel, which was a really fun experience. After getting off the wheel, we headed closer to the stage. The band ended their set with “Safe and Sound” and I loved the energy from the crowd. One of my favorite things about concerts are when the audience knows enough words to join in and that totally happened. We were also next to a guy dressed up like a milk carton, eating a burrito. It was the weekend before Halloween after all.
We headed to see Imagine Dragons at the Downtown stage afterwards and ran into a lady that we had met in the lounge earlier that day. She was separated from her friend and very inebriated, so the three of us went to watch the concert together. Imagine Dragons is pretty great live and I would definitely see them in concert again. Their set ended with “Radioactive”, though I kind of thought “It’s Time” would have been a more fun song to end on. Afterwards, we finally found the friend who was with two other people, Cindy and Junior, who we also met at the lounge and had planned to meet up with. With all six of us together, we walked around a bit before Cindy, Junior, Rona, and I left to get some food.
There were a bunch of different food booths in the Culinary Village to choose from, but I decided to get some truffle pasta from Artisanal Foods. It was okay. Rona got pumpkin spiced gnocchi from Lavo Italian Restaurant, which I think I enjoyed more.
The four of us stopped by the El Cortez casino for a quick bathroom break and some gambling before checking out Kings of Leon, the headliner for the night, at the Downtown stage. We all knew of some Kings of Leon songs, but we weren’t huge fans of the band so we decided to beat the post-concert rush and head back to our hotel a little early. We needed to conserve our energy for Sunday anyway!
I was too exhausted to do anything else at the end of the night, so I pretty much just knocked out, but day one of the festival was a success. Look out for the post about day two coming soon! (Edit: Day 2 is here!)