Life Is Beautiful Day 3 hit like a collective hangover in downtown Las Vegas. Following two packed days of live bands and DJs, combined with the late night air temperatures being the time of day when it was comfortable to be outside — and taking full advantage of that along Fremont Street’s boozy venues – there was less raucousness in the air on Sunday.
Though at an event as large as Life Is Beautiful, this made it a good day to leave the main stages and explore a lot of the other spaces the festival had inside its perimeter. There are notable locations like downtown’s Container Park, Atomic Liquors, Fergusons Downtown that are all within the festival grounds, and each themes its location to fit into the larger event.
Container Park, in addition to offering shops with air conditioning, had the Rising Stars Stage that had a string of local performers playing throughout the day. Alleyways were turned into interactive light exhibits that gave walking between stages a mazelike feel. Larger sponsored stages created upside down rooms for the Instagram crowd to take pictures in, while local vendors spread out across the parking lot of the Bunkhouse Saloon. Fergusons Downtown had their own lineup of DJs mixing ambient electronic sounds that provided a chilled-out escape from the larger crowds outside.
Several of the venues provided their own guest appearances not advertised on festival lineups, which made wandering into venues like the inclusive House Of Yes disco bar space and seeing burlesque performer Lux Lacroix take the stage, or piano house originator and DJ LP Giobbi perform a set in the balcony of the Bacardi Art Motel just as noteworthy and exciting as racing around to catch the mainstage performances. If there is one thing that Life Is Beautiful excels at, it would be packing festivities into every available space on their map.
And with a few exceptions, the Day 3 performances rode that more relaxed note. Pop soul vocalist Jamila Woods played the smaller Huntridge Stage with R&B grooves – which in this case ended up making a perfect background for the vegan po boys it took us three days to discover at a nearby food truck. St Vincent’s Downtown Stage set was set up almost more as a Broadway production than a simple musical performance, but also may have been an experiment in how much atonal dissonance the audience could endure. I later heard it was some people’s favorite set of the festival – to each their own I suppose.
The sweatiest dance party of the night, and possibly the entire festival, went to the Emo Night Tour, who turned the indoor Kicker Comedy Stage room into a throwback nightclub with a soundtrack of Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, and somehow even some future throwback of Olivia Rodrigo, and the volume levels of the entire room singing along physically shook and resonated throughout the building.
The headliners of the final night were Billie Eilish, giving her low-key foreboding brand of pop all with a cheery smile on her face. At times it was hard to hear her whispered vocals over the screaming of her fan base at the front of the stage. A$AP Rocky spent more of his time yelling at the crowd to start the mosh pit than he did actually performing songs to sustain that pit and was ultimately upstaged by his girlfriend Rihanna who was present at the front of the stage. And it was electronic duo Gorgon City whose set was the final one of the festival, playing to all those left standing among the shimmery neon lights Life Is Beautiful came to a close.
Inclusive of an entire spectrum of lifestyles, cultures, artists, and genres, Life Is Beautiful has done a great job of creating an annual festival where everyone is able to find the type of art or crowd or performer who speaks to them. The absolutely diverse range of events that take place within the festival grounds has made this a consistently engaging and fun event. And with that, we’ll be reverting to our post-fest routine of an ice bath followed by a day of catching up on sleep!