The Life is Beautiful music festival will return to downtown Las Vegas in October, 2015. The festival features some of the hottest acts in the music industry, plenty of food and drink, a learning center, art and even a Ferris wheel. The festival offers so much, we thought we'd offer some tips on what we learned during our first experience at Life is Beautiful.
1. Book your hotel room early. Life is Beautiful is held in downtown Las Vegas, so hotels there sell out fast during the music festival. If sold out, the Las Vegas Strip isn't too far away, but unless you're OK walking a good distance, you'll have to budget $40 for a shuttle to take you downtown.
2. Figure out meeting times and places before splitting from your group – and stick to them. When Life is Beautiful kicked off in 2013, cell service was spotty at best. Forget posting to social media, too. The cell lines are jammed as everyone is trying to find their friends – sometimes text messages didn't arrive until the wee morning hours, long after you've stumbled back to your hotel room.
3. VIP packages are pricier, but at the same time allow you to get up close to the stage, instead of being crammed in with the masses, especially for the big names performing at Life is Beautiful. These passes also get you into parties, on-stage for some performances and golf cart transportation. Also, last year folks with VIP passes had access to air-conditioned, flushable toilets. That, right there, is reason enough to splurge.
4. Plan your time wisely. There's more than great music acts at Life is Beautiful. 2013's inaugural festival also featured art, a culinary area and a beer and spirits garden. Spend some time looking at the lineup, the must-sees on the schedule and at which stage they are performing. A map is your friend. Don't rely entirely on the app. You might not be able to access it (see No. 2).
5. If you're driving, parking will cost you (last year it cost $40/day for those paying last minute), but worked like a well-oiled machine. Pay, park, board a bus, and bam, you're there. Carpool if you can.
6. Small bags are allowed in, but expect them to be searched before you're allowed in. Leave your paraphernalia at home. Blankets, unopened bottled water (up to one liter) and glow sticks are among the items allowed. Not allowed: illegal drugs (duh), hula hoops, weapons, outside food and beverages, and pets (sorry, Fido).
7. If you're getting to the open-air festival before sunset, wear sunscreen. Also, bring layers. October can either be warm or cool (our weather can be temperamental, like our dealers) and if you show up dressed for summer heat, you'll be shivering by the end of the night. Of course, this might make for the perfect opportunity to cuddle up to that special someone.
8. Keep hydrated! And not just with beer (even though it can be argued certain beers are just flavored water). Although the festival is in October, we're still in the arid desert. Your not-as-bad hangover will thank you in the morning.
9. Prices can be a bit inflated downtown during the festival, even in the restaurants inside the casinos. Plan to pay at least $10 for a meal, and $8 for a drink. The good thing, though, is there's a lot to choose from, but if you have certain dietary restrictions, plan accordingly.
10. If you enter one of the casinos from the festival grounds, expect to have to go through security again to re-enter. Last year some casinos only had one way to exit for festival-goers, and it wasn't always easy to find.