Las Vegas' annual Life is Beautiful festival will bring together the best in music, art, learning, and taste in a three-day, multi-sensory experience from September 22 to 24. The festival's main event — a lineup featuring more than 100 diverse musical artists — includes performances by Blink-182, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, Muse and MGMT, with a cache of DJs to keep the vibes going through the night.
Encompassing 18 city blocks in historic Downtown Las Vegas and jam-packed with a surplus of entertainment offerings across its three days, Life is Beautiful can be a massive undertaking — especially if you're a novice festival goer. Here's everything you need to know to help you celebrate and experience all the best Life has to offer.
How to Get There
Located about 15 minutes away from the iconic Las Vegas Strip, the festival entrance at Fremont and 7th Street can be accessed by shuttle, ride share, and even bicycle. If you’re driving, it’s recommended you purchase a three-day Park & Ride pass: for $45, you’re guaranteed a parking space in the World Market Center lot and access to a round-trip shuttle that gets you within a block of the festival entrance in about 10 minutes. Park & Ride is a good option for visitors unfamiliar with the area, especially because of road closures that will be in effect from the event.
If you aren’t driving or staying in a Downtown Las Vegas hotel, practically every hot spot on the Strip offers clearly marked ride share locations — and Life is Beautiful will offer an exclusive Lift pick up and drop off lot nearby the festival entrance. For users new to the ride share app, using code “LIB17” will gift you up to $20 in free ride credit.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada offers a bike share program that makes getting around downtown even easier: it’ll run you $8 for a one day pass, which gets you unlimited 30-minute rides during your 24-hour period. Picking up and dropping off bikes is as easy as the press of a few buttons, and there are more than 20 RTC Bike Share stations conveniently located in the heart of downtown Vegas — the nearest of which is at 6th & Carson, within walking distance of the festival entrance.
Designed for trips that are too far to walk but too short to drive, the program is perfect for short commutes and is a good way to explore the neighboring area when you’re taking a break from the festival. You can BYOB as well: local bike shop Crank & Grind (located next to the John E. Carson Building across from the Box Office) is offering festival attendees free bike valet. There’s no overnight parking, so you’ll have to pick up your ride sometime before 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
Where to Stay
Downtown Las Vegas is host to classic and newly-remodeled hotel casinos, but you’ll want to hurry and secure your room if you’re aiming to stay close to the festival action. The Golden Nugget, Plaza, Four Queens, Golden Gate, Downtown Grand Las Vegas, Fremont and California Hotel are all Life is Beautiful hotels located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, while the SLS Las Vegas and the Palace Station Hotel and Casino are partner hotels located nearby.
All tickets + hotel packages have already sold out, but accommodations of varying styles and budgets are still available. Booking through Life is Beautiful partner Hotels for Hope will save you up to 25% off other travel sites at the lowest rate — and better yet, book with Hotels for Hope and they’ll make a donation to partner Project 150, a non-profit charitable organization that offers support and services to homeless students in the Las Vegas valley.
Artists to Catch
A diverse lineup of some of the music industry’s hottest acts will be hitting Life is Beautiful’s various stages located throughout the festival grounds: the Fremont, Downtown, Ambassador and Huntridge stages will all be host to various music acts while some performers take to the nearby Downtown Container Park as well as the Kalliope and Forest House Art Cars.
Acts scheduled to appear Friday, September 22 are Blink-182, Lorde, 2 Chainz, Chance the Rapper, Two Door Cinema Club, Capital Cities, Dreamcar, and more; day two will see the arrival of Wiz Khalifa, Muse, Cage the Elephant, Tycho, Broods, Ekali, Local Natives, and more; the final night of the festival will see performances from MGMT, Gorillaz, The XX, Haim, Pusha T, Pretty Lights, and more. For a complete list of acts, visit the website or download the official Life is Beautiful app (available for both Apple and Android).
Through the app, you’ll be able to view an alphabetical list of performers and add your favorites to your schedule with the press of a button. Navigate to the “My Schedule” tab, and you’ll have a handy itinerary that automatically orders your favorites by date and time. For maximum handiness, you have the option of setting a customizable alert that will remind you when the acts will be performing and where, so you’ll never miss a thing.
What to Eat
The bad news: except for factory-sealed bottled water (up to 1 liter) and special dietary items (allowed only with an accompanying doctor’s note), outside food and drink aren’t permitted inside the festival grounds. Soft-sided coolers (no larger than a 12-pack of beer) are allowed, but picnic baskets and large or hard-sided coolers aren’t. The good news: taste is one of the hallmarks of the festival, and you’ll be surrounded by vendors with food offerings suited to all lifestyles.
The site has a list of the 50+ diverse eateries located within the festival, all which offer your favorite eats: nachos, fries, burritos, tacos, pizza, seafood, burgers, desserts and more. The app comes in handy here, too: the “taste” tab alphabetically sorts the food vendors, and makes exploration easy. Simply tap a vendor to view their hours, location and menu. If you’re looking for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings, you're covered there, too — everything is clearly marked.
What to Pack
The official Life is Beautiful website has a list of both acceptable and prohibited items for the festival, and you’ll want to look over the 'do's and don'ts' carefully before you arrive. The site recommends you bring along portable phone chargers, small bags, regular size/unframed and single-compartment backpacks, sealed water bottles, binoculars, and personal cameras with a detachable lens 2 inches or shorter.
The “don’t bring” list is much longer: forbidden items include weapons of any kind, illegal substances or paraphernalia, unsealed water bottles, professional video/audio recording equipment, professional still camera equipment and various accessories, skateboards, hover boards, chairs, tents, musical instruments, pets or animals (service animals excluded), glass, sharp objects, and more. You’ll want to abide by festival rules or risk confiscation and being denied entry, so be sure to review the “what not to bring” section of the website before making your way to the festival.
What VIP Gets You
3-day General Admit passes are sold out, but 3-day VIP, V+VIP, and All-In packages are still available. 3-day VIP ($655 + taxes & fees) grants you access to all three days of the festival, and includes GA features plus shaded VIP lounge areas with concierge services at the Downtown and Ambassador stages, VIP-only food vendors, express VIP entry lanes with re-entry, and — most attractively — access to air-conditioned restrooms.
The 3-day V+VIP pass ($1,195 + taxes & fees) grants you the VIP features plus complimentary beer, wine and cocktails, elevated viewing at the Downtown stage, exclusive daily food moments, express V+VIP lanes with re-entry and the aforementioned air-conditioned restrooms.
Finally, the 3-day All-In pass ($2,495 + taxes & fees) includes all previous VIP features as well as side-stage viewing at the Downtown and Ambassador stages, complimentary alcoholic beverages, two food vouchers per day, access to air-conditioned restrooms with an attendant, and a commemorative five-year festival gift bag.
If you’re attending Life is Beautiful, you’ll want to make sure to download the app before you go. Because cell service can be unreliable, you’d be smart to backup your plans offline: taking screenshots of your planned itinerary or printing out a game plan would come in handy should you be unable to access the app. Grab a map and familiarize yourself with it, especially if you’re a first timer: nothing would be worse than missing out on seeing your favorite artist because you ended up at the wrong stage.
Hydration and sunscreen should be a priority for everyone out in the Vegas heat — yes, even in late September — so you’ll want to exercise your right to bring along two (sealed) water bottles.
Lastly, be mindful of policies that could restrict your access to the event: your “ticket” is a wristband with an RFID chip and should remain on you for the duration of the festival. Your wristband can’t be transferred or replaced, so avoid removing, tampering or adjusting it — once it’s on, keep it that way. (It’s safe to wear in the shower.) General admit guests are allowed three exits and three reentries per day: if you leave and come back, you need to be back inside the festival by 9 p.m. When exiting, be sure to get scanned out by a security supervisor before heading out — skipping this will prevent reentry.