‘Life is Beautiful’ Vegas Music Fest Scaling Way Back

Posted on: June 21, 2024, 03:05h. 

Last updated on: June 22, 2024, 05:22h.

This year, life will still be beautiful but much smaller.

This year’s “Life is Beautiful” festival will play to an audience only one-third of the festival’s maximum size. (Image: Digital Music News)

The annual “Life is Beautiful” Las Vegas music festival — held on 18 city blocks along East Fremont Street for 10 years — is being rerouted to a single vacant lot next to the Plaza Hotel & Casino downtown.

The year’s event, renamed “The Big Beautiful Block Party,” has also been scaled back from its usual three days to two.

“For a number of reasons, it was appropriate to hit pause on the Life is Beautiful Festival this year,” according to a news release from festival organizers that explained none of those reasons. “We are hard at work reimagining and evolving the festival experience for the sake of you, the fans, and the incredible community that surrounds us.”

The largest audience ever reported for “Life is Beautiful” was reported as 180,000 over three days. The 10-acre vacant lot that will host “The Big Beautiful Block Party” holds an estimated 25,000.

“This event is not intended to replace the festival,” the press release continues. “For now, it gives us the opportunity to continue the annual tradition of gathering in Downtown Las Vegas to uplift one another, to express ourselves, and to connect. In time, the two will coexist.”

That’s a rather optimistic perspective, and we’ll get to why in a bit…

Business is Painful

“Life is Beautiful” was founded by the late Tony Hsieh in 2013. And, like most downtown Las Vegas institutions the former CEO of Zappos invested in at the time, it lost money. According to Casino.org‘s own Vital Vegas blogger Scott Roeben, the festival lost “about $10 million in its first three years of operation alone.”

However, as Roeben explained, “as less prominent (and less expensive) talent was booked, the festival found its footing.” A controlling interest was sold to Rolling Stone magazine in February 2022.

Back in April, Roeben reported that Rolling Stone had “made it clear the existing footprint wasn’t working for them,” and that the festival “isn’t going to happen in the same footprint again, if it happens at all.”

Last year, the festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in its original location, with headliners including Kendrick Lamar, ODESZA, and The 1975.

But this year’s event will be the first in which Rolling Stone is the sole owner. And, according to Roeben, Rolling Stone looked at both the Las Vegas Festival Grounds and the empty lot across from Wynn Las Vegas before settling on the Plaza lot.

“The Big Beautiful Block Party” will take place on two stages Sept. 27 and 28, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The acts on those stages will be announced at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, with two-day passes, starting at $199, going on sale 10 a.m. Thursday, June 27, via lifeisbeautiful.com.