I am insanely excited to share with you my full recap of the Life is Beautiful Festival 2016. Those who know me in the every day real life, know that I am can sometimes be a boring homebody. It is pretty much the extremes for me. Either I am traveling and living it up or I’m a hermit who is home bound, computer on lap while glued to the couch. Once I commit to a big event or a spontaneous trip I will spend the prior weeks leading up to it obsessing over all the details. I never want to leave something up to chance and you know I am well researched on something when I put my mind to it. When the opportunity to fly across the country to attend the Life is Beautiful Festival 2016 presented itself to me I immediately talked myself out of it. Could I really take time off of work for this? What is Mark going to say when I tell him? We already have so many trips planned for September. By the time I filled him in, I had pretty much already Pro/Conned myself over to the no side. Thank goodness I am married to someone who is way more spontaneous than I am. He was insanely supportive of it and I sprung to action the minute the flights were booked. Do you remember this post when I talked about what I packed? Also, don’t forget all about the new Zappos Loyalty Program to help keep you outfitted for all your festival and Fall fashion needs!
What You Need to Know About the Life is Beautiful Festival 2016
Where and When
The Life is Beautiful Festival takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada in the month of September. This was the 4th year running. Not only is it a Music Festival but also has a big focus on food (I mean Nobu had a concession area) craft drinks, arts, and inspirational speakers. Zappos is based out of Las Vegas and was a major contributor to the festival which is where my in came from. The festival is set up in Downtown Vegas or “old Vegas” if you will. Every time I have been to Vegas, I’ve stayed on the strip so this was definitely a new experience. It was definitely a fun time, 2-3 days max. Fremont Street East has fantastic restaurants and bars. I would even take an Uber off the strip next time I go just to head back to eat.
The Musical Acts
They were definitely strategic with spreading out the “big acts” over the three days in order for people to buy the weekend passes. I pretty much wanted to see somebody every night. There were 5 stages spread out over the property grounds. I downloaded the Life is Beautiful Festival App (which worked off of internet thank goodness). I picked the performers I wanted to see and it saves your plan in an easy to follow guide. Seriously, that app was incredibly genius and helped the OCD planner in me. You could also see which artists were trending because let’s be honest, there were a few I didn’t know. That way we checked out the trending ones and found some gems like Jack Garratt. I loved Mumford and Sons and J. Cole. I even got Mark inside of the EDM stage and he told me on the way home he has a greater appreciation for it now.
Are the VIP Tickets Worth It??
I honestly think they were. You had unlimited re-entry with them plus, (the best part in my mind) your own viewing areas at each stage for the bands. Within those viewing areas, you had private bathrooms, bars, and specialized food. It seriously made the experience for us.
What to Drink & Eat
I have never seen a festival before with such great food! Anything you could imagine and it wasn’t insanely priced. We also eat at Le Thai and Lacomida for lunch prior to going in and I’m not joking when I saw, the best Thai food I’ve ever had. Also, both were very affordable. Within the grounds, there were probably a hundred food vendors. We snuck away into the Container Area and checked out The Perch. The bartenders in there are potion mixing wizards with what they crafted up. They were also insanely sweet with giving their own personal iPhone cords to charge up in between acts. The seating at the bar had USB outlets to charge your phone = genius.
What to Wear
I really thought it was going to be like Coachella and everyone was going to be decked to the nines in fabulous festival wear. However, seriously everyone was just completely down to earth and wore what was comfortable. Zappos had me completely festival ready! I wore this lace back romper (on sale!) for the first day, this floral lace up dress for day two and this Free People lace front top for the last day with these faux leather leggings (total must buy!). To trek around in these Dolce Vita booties the first night, they were comfortable and edgy. The second night I just gave in and rocked some sneaks. The weather was perfect! I thought it was going to be insanely hot but we were blessed with 80’s during the day and low 70’s/high 60’s at night. Plus, there was no humidity. Couldn’t have asked for better weather.
Where to Stay
When I got the email saying I was staying at the Golden Nugget, I immediately hit up TripAdvisor before I discussed it with Mark. It had fantastic reviews and I can see why. Our Junior Suite was huge and modern plus it was close to all the action. After an initial Lyft ride from the airport, we walked everywhere we needed to go. They have great restaurants within, a Starbucks, and a really nice pool area. The only thing I will tell you, our room faced the Fremont street experience. They have live bands till the wee hours of the morning. Thank goodness we were exhausted from the festival and passed right out. Make sure to ask about that if you ever stay there. Also, the “resort fee” included wifi…..it was like dial up speed and neither Mark or myself (I have AT&T, he has Verizon) we had terrible reception inside of the hotel. Other than that we were very comfortable there and you know I demand a lot out of my hotel accommodations.
The tickets for the weekend are embedded within a chip inside of a bracelet you will wear. Once it goes on, it cannot be taken off and on again. You are allowed to leave and enter back into the festival. They have water fill stations inside, bring an empty water bottle in with you. There are charging stations for your phones. This is incredibly helpful because my phone kept on failing to post to Instagram or Snapchat due to the sheer amount of people trying to use the network, that in turn sucked my battery. I ended up just putting it on airplane mode and sending all my snaps once I got back to the hotel. Friday was definitely a lighter night in regards to the crowds, Saturday was flooded with people and the younger peeps for sure. Friday I felt in my element, Saturday I definitely felt like I could have babysat half of the people there like 5 years before that if you catch my drift.
**Cameras were limited on what you could take inside. The lens had to be less than two inches long. Thank goodness I was informed of this before we left. I packed this lens and my mirrorless camera (this bad boy is definitely coming in handy!)
There are really fun areas to check out like the Zappos tent which had neon body marbling. Dolce Vita was also set up there with a pop-up shop where they were giving away shoes the whole weekend. There was so much to see, do and eat. I loved all the dance zones and chill areas. Make sure you wear a comfortable outfit/shoes because there is definitely a lot to see.
Overall Takeaway Points
This was such a well run, planned, and executed festival event. The grounds were clean and well organized. The App was incredibly helpful and gave us the best plan of attack to maximize our time within the festival. There was really something for everyone. There were plenty of staff on site that were friendly and kept the crowd controlled. We had such a good time and are already recruiting people to go back with us next year! I am so glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to experience such an inspiring event. Have you heard of this festival before? If you have gone, what was your favorite part? If you haven’t heard of the Life is Beautiful Festival 2016 before are you interested now? Any questions you guys have please feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot me an email.