During the decade I lived in Seattle, I got cozy with city’s annual music and culture festival, Bumbershoot. It’s a sprawling, wonderful event, but it has limits: It’s confined to the former World’s Fair grounds at Seattle Center. The Life Is Beautiful festival, on the other hand, is taking over 15 blocks of Downtown Las Vegas Oct. 26 and 27—essentially transforming the entire Fremont East district into one big venue.
Scroll down to see the full Life is Beautiful band lineup.
LIB promises everything Bumbershoot delivers—art, performance, lots of great bands—plus a couple of unexpected, but intriguing elements: education and fine food. LIB is the only festival I’ve heard of with a Chef Panel, and it includes some real heavyweights, including Honey Salt’s Kim Canteenwalla, Incanto’s Chris Cosentino and The Charleston’s Jet Tila. That’s the culinary equivalent of getting The Killers, Portugal The Man and Passion Pit on the same bill. And by the way, LIB has done that, too.
The music is what will open this thing up, and of the artists scheduled to appear (announced Monday night) I can say that I’m most excited for the three aforementioned bands, and also ZZ Ward, Dawes, Youngblood Hawke, Jurassic 5 and Pretty Lights. (I should note that Imagine Dragons is also on the bill, but they’re a taste I’ve yet to acquire.) And y’know what else? Childish Gambino and Beck, that’s what. It’s a lineup equal to any city festival I’ve attended, a nice mix of superstar and about-to-break, with some solid local acts in the mix. And it handily equals the best summer we’ve ever had at the Cosmopolitan.
At the time of this writing I don’t know what educational, arts or performance programming is planned, but frankly, it’s enough for me to know they’re going to have it. The great joy of Bumbershoot was the things you didn’t expect to see or enjoy—wandering into a venue to find a massive art installation, or a talk by Spalding Gray. I can’t wait to see what unexpected pleasures Life Is Beautiful reveals across those 15 Downtown blocks.
Here are the musical acts scheduled to take the stage:
You can find a list of participating chefs at lifeisbeautifulfestival.com.
What do you think of the lineup? Tell us in the comments section below.