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The “Life is Beautiful” Festival wasn’t just a festival, it was a life experience.  Revolving around the name of the festival, that life in fact IS beautiful, the overall attitude and vibe was very positive, uplifting, and inspiring.  The purpose of this festival seemed to be, not to take away from musical performances, but to make the 3 day festival an experience to remember by including many fun and interactive events  and activities, other than the wonderful “A List” lineup of extremely talented musical acts. “Life is Beautiful” featured many guest speakers in the “Learning Center”, some of which being Pussy Riot and Penn & Teller, talking about the importance of looking on the positive side of things, even in the most grim of situations.

Not too far from the Learning Center, was the celebrity chef stage.  With the likes of “Iron Chef” Cat Cora and Duff Goldman, of the reality shows “Ace of Cakes” and “Sugar High”, amongst many other amazing chefs and guest appearances, the festival goers were sure to conjure up quite an appetite after seeing these tasty cooking demonstrations.  But hunger proved to be no problem at all for this festival...boasting almost 50 succulent gourmet food trucks and vendors.  There were also wine tastings as well as art showcase on the festival grounds as well.  This truly was a festival for the “arts”.

Life Is Beautiful 2014 Slideshow



The music portion of “Life is Beautiful” was nothing short of spectacular! (see slideshow above for a few of my shots from the festival)   The lineup of artists and talent was just as eclectic as the festival itself!   From hip hop legends OutKast to dubstep giant, Skrillex..to the great Lionel Ritchie...oh, and throw in a little Foo Fighters, Arctic Monekys, and Kanye West, just for icing on the cake!  Although there were many outstanding acts at this 3 day festival in Sin City, the highlight for me was certainly seeing and shooting the mighty OutKast!  Headlining Saturday night, with a set of nearly 2 hours long, they played every song that any OutKast fan would want to hear from them.  From classic jams like “Player’s Ball”, Southernplayalisticcadillacmusic”, “Aquemini”, and “Crumblin‘ Herb”, to the smash hits “Mrs. Jackson”, “So Fresh, So Clean”, and “Hey Ya”.  With an amazing backing band and background singers...along with their light show and stage setup...and 30,000 people singing along...it was definitely a show not to be missed.  

The Roots also put on a captivating performance.  Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter gave the crowd a taste of what true rap/hip hop is.  With his east coast, underground style, and the band’s talented, jazzy style...they gave Las Vegas a taste of REAL Hip Hop.  Throwing in little jazzy breakdowns, with styles influenced by the likes of Thelonious Monk, and heavy breaks in which the tuba player “Tuba Gooding Jr.” clearly stood out...The Roots were clearly a force to be reckoned with.  

Lionel Ritchie was another act that just seemed to blow the crowd away!  Although, that was to be expected by such a legend, it still was quite amazing to be in that presence.  Playing all of the classic songs of his that you would know, like “Hello”...and also playing quite a few songs by The Commodores, like “Brick House” and “Dancing on the Ceiling”, Lionel seemed to have the whole crowd gettin‘ down!  He also had quite a sense of humor!  Playing jokes on all of us...mentioning a guest singer...and then proceeding to call out Diana Ross.  The crowd roared with excitement...and then the punchline came...he TRIED to get her..but didn’t get in touch.  “ha ha ha” Mr. Ritchie...good one.  But then, he asked for the help of the audience’s help in singing Diana Ross‘ part in the song “Endless Love”.  Once again, the crowd roared and sang with all their hearts, while Lionel played piano and sang along.  An amazing performance by a classy, talented legend. 

One of the bands was definitely a “sleeper” for me.  I knew “of” them, but hadn’t heard too much of their music.  Nahko & Medicine for the People is def. a group that is worth following.  Outstanding musicianship accompanied by beautiful vocals with an energetic performance.  They were quite humbled to be received so well, but they certainly seemed to have more of a following than most know about.  Playing their hearts outs on stage, the crowd screamed for an encore.  Unfortunately, when you’re not a headliner on one of these types of festivals, you must abide by the strict schedule.  An encore by Nahko would have been awesome.  I am certainly a new fan.  Positive music.  Positive vibes.  An all around great and fun musical experience. 

The giant of this festival would prove to be the Foo Fighters.  The  very second that Dave Grohl stepped on stage, energy seemed to fill downtown Las Vegas.  Belting out guttural screams and going straight into “All My Life”...you knew right then that you were in for a treat.  The Foo Fighters blew Life is Beautiful away with an extremely explosive performance filled with all their huge hits, as well as a new song!  The closing act of this festival did about as good of a job as you possibly could, putting the cherry on top.  If you didn’t walk out of there, blown away by the experience that you had there....well, then you weren’t truly there.  I can only imagine what the people behind the Life is Beautiful Festival will come up with next year, to top this year’s festival.  I’m very hopeful that next year’s experience will be just as wonderful and I hope to see you there!

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