Music Festivals are Unforgettable Experiences, For Better or Worse

By Tatiana Solomon

Las Vegas’ own music festival Life is Beautiful went off without a hitch in terms of providing a safe unforgettable long weekend of music, art, love and motivational speakers. Sadly the following weekend another music festival in town had a different outcome.

“Life is Beautiful is a yearlong movement that culminates in a three-day celebration held in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas,” according to a press release dated April 25 from R&R Partners, who helped promote the event. “The annual festival brings together people from all walks of life to create an experience centered in music, art, taste and ideas. That gathering, by its very nature, becomes a platform in which positivity prevails, culture and creativity thrive and transformation occurs.”

Recently named “Music Festival of the Year” by Pollstar, Life is Beautiful attracted more than 137,000 attendees in 2016. Recent stats on this year’s attendance are not yet released.

The festival, which was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Rehan Choudhry, was created in hopes of helping people see that the world we live in is a beautiful place. “Life is Beautiful is an inspirational social platform dedicated to helping people conquer their fears and chase their dreams,” wrote Choudhry, on his LinkedIn page. “Life is Beautiful is meant to guide people to the place where they can embrace life and find happiness, whatever that looks like to the individual.”

Festivals like these are amazing experiences for many concert goers.

“This was my first Life is Beautiful experience and it was definitely one for the books,” said Alex Lozano, biology major at College of Southern Nevada. “The people, music, food and atmosphere in general were amazing.”

Life is Beautiful is notorious for its eclectic musical line up. Some of this year’s headlining acts consisted of Chance The Rapper, Muse, BLINK-182, Kaskade, Wiz Khalifa and Lorde.

There was even a special appearance by Bill Nye, who used his time on stage to educate the crowd on climate change, space exploration and the importance of youth being proactive in changing the world for the better.

“Life is Beautiful is different from other festivals because there isn’t just music,” stated Ronalli Enriquez, journalism major at CSN who attended the festival for the past five years. “There’s a huge focus on food and art. The ginormous murals on the sides of the buildings and the Art Motel are always a must see for me.”

Local artists turn the walls of buildings into canvases to express themselves, making the entire festival a visually aesthetic experience.

“Life Is Beautiful brings art to life,” said Brianna Fayerverger, media studies major at CSN. “The energy is more about appreciating life and this festival brings people together.”

Fortunately these people who attended the festival had a great time. In contrast a week later across the street from Mandalay Bay, a mass shooting during Route 91 Harvest country-music festival took the lives of 58 and injured more than 530 concertgoers.

Justin Weniger, CEO of Life is Beautiful, released a public statement about the tragedy on the festival’s official website. “The Life is Beautiful festival family is devastated by the horrific events that took place on Oct. 1 in our hometown of Las Vegas. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in our community, the victims, their families and the first responders.”

While the horrific events that took place at the Route 91 Harvest festival has shaken the reputation of the carefree essence that music festival attendees love, Weniger reminds the community why the event was originally created.

“Life is Beautiful is founded in the beliefs of community and our collective love for each other and the arts as well as making the world a more beautiful and loving place,” Weniger wrote. “In the wake of this tragedy, we gather strength from these ideals and urge everyone to come together as a community, support and love one another. We will overcome the hate and the divisiveness together. We will lean on each other to move forward and to create a world in which love is the only option.”

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