When the Intergalactic Art Car Festival makes first contact in Las Vegas this Saturday night, June 9, it will be an otherworldly experience. Created by Lyft and Fired Up Management, the event boasts 25 art cars—“mobile, fire-breathing sculptures built on the bases of vehicle,” as Lyft Nevada marketing lead Kris Cuaresma-Primm puts it—along with a procession down the Las Vegas Strip, music, food trucks, fire dancers and more.
Here’s why you should add the festival to your weekend itinerary.
- The festival supports a great cause.
Proceeds from the Intergalactic Art Car Festival will help fund local arts programs. “The arts are under attack. Art programs have been cut from schools, museum funding has been stripped away and Nevada may lose $700,000 in local funding for local arts programs. We thought something needed to be done,” Cuaresma-Primm says.
The funds raised will benefit the First Friday Foundation, which in turn works with schools, youth groups and various nonprofits across the Las Vegas Valley. If all goes well at the Las Vegas event, Cuaresma-Primm says it could spread to other markets, sparking creativity and helping communities in need across the country.
- It’s family-friendly.
The festival is all-ages, so bring the kids. You may have to give them a pass on that bedtime, though. The event kicks off with a parade at 7 p.m. starting at the Llama Lot at Ogden Avenue and 9th Street, down Las Vegas Boulevard to Harmon Avenue and back, culminating in an immersive festival that rages on from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- It’s the largest collection of art cars outside of Burning Man.
For those who haven’t made the trek to the playa, the festival will be an opportunity to witness these hulking structures up close and interact with them all in one place. There will be 25 art cars in total taking the shapes of aliens, monsters, rhinos, swans, alligators and more. Some are more than 25-feet long and 35-feet high, such as BalanceVille, an LED-covered scissor lift car built on the base of a fire truck that raises people more than 30 feet in the air.
There are a few familiar “guests,” too. The Park on Fremont Swan will make an appearance, as well as ForestHouse, a school bus converted into a roving soundstage that served as a DJ booth during last year’s Life is Beautiful. The most notable figure is the gathering’s “host”: the praying mantis who hangs out in front of Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas. “The mantis is inviting her friends from across the galaxy to save the arts,” Cuaresma-Primm says.
- Lyft is giving away free admission for the first 10,000 people who RSVP.
“We want to include as many people as possible,” Cuaresma-Primm explains. While proceeds from food and drink sales are sure to generate significant funds for local art programs, Lyft is also seeking donations. Your generosity won’t go unrewarded…
- The “philanthropist” ticket package comes with awesome perks.
If you donate $100 on a donor package, you get treated to an open bar at Atomic Liquors (located across from the festival site), free Lyft credits so you can ride responsibly and express entry to the festival. Those who purchase philanthropist tickets will be entered into a drawing to ride on one of the art cars during the procession, so you can feel like futuristic” royalty atop your metallic, fire-breathing steed.
For more information and to RSVP or purchase donor tickets to the event, visit artcarfestival.com.