Insomniac Founder Pasquale Rotella Shares His Plans for Life Is Beautiful

Photo by Anthony Mair

Photo by Anthony Mair

With the release of the Life Is Beautiful lineup, Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella took a few moments to chat about his company’s involvement in this year’s festival, where Insomniac will curate its own EDM stage. As Downtown prepares for the September 25-27 event, Rotella shared who he’s looking forward to seeing, as well as some behind-the-scenes details.

Will you be bringing in a pre-made stage setup from a past Insomniac festival or will your stage at Life Is Beautiful have its own concept?

We plan on doing something different for sure. We have certain production elements that are built for certain themed festivals, and Life Is Beautiful deserves something to call its own.

On what EDM subgenres will you focus for the LIB lineup?

We’re gonna cover all genres of dance music. We never want to draw a line in the sand and say, “We’re only gonna have one style.” We have a lot of different styles of house: Deep house, tropical house, future house. We have trap, [too]. We don’t have any drum and bass this year, but that doesn’t mean that in future years we won’t. And that doesn’t mean that Yellow Claw won’t drop a drum and bass song in their set. We love it all.

How many electronic acts do you plan to bring in?

There are some people who are not on the [lineup] announcement that are yet to be added. So I’d say about 20-25.

Are you aiming for big names or fresh faces? 

We have both. Thievery Corportation, for example, is established. Porter Robinson, Tommy Trash, DJ Snake, Major Lazer—they’re all established. And then for fresh faces: Tchami, Robin Schulz, Cashmere Cat, Jauz—those guys are happening now. And Kygo. Those are all new buzz.

Will Kygo perform on the EDM stage or main stage?

We are still playing around with certain things. We’re talking about putting Kygo on a different stage. We are gonna have a dance-only tent, but Major Lazer and Kygo, they go on other stages, just like you would see at other festivals. There will be a designated dance music stage, but you can also catch [EDM] acts on [other] stages.

And you’re doing more than just curating one stage, right?

Absolutely. This has been a collaboration. We’re not [just] hosting a stage; we’re actually producing [other elements within] the entire festival, and promoting the entire festival.

Who are you most excited to see perform live?

I’ve never seen Stevie Wonder before. He’s a legend. I gotta check out Kendrick Lamar, for sure. I definitely love the energy of Yellow Claw—it’s sick. Madeon is awesome. Tchami, I’m a fan for sure. Those are the top of the list. I would throw Cashmere Cat in there, as well. I have yet to see him play live.

Would you ever consider inverting the relationship and having a Life Is Beautiful stage at a future Insomniac event?

Absolutely. That’s been talked about. At Insomniac, we love music, we love festivals, we love mass gatherings, we love to hang out. Nothing is set in stone, but is definitely already being discussed.

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