Annie Liang/AXS Photographer
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The Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival once again transformed downtown Las Vegas into a mecca of art, music, culinary delights and most of all, thought-provoking conversation with beautiful people about beautiful things. 

This year’s festival, its fifth in a row in the downtown area, took place over the weekend of Sept. 23-25. It boasted the likes of The Revivalists, De La Soul, Lorde, Gorillaz, Chance the Rapper, Muse, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, blink-182 and Sofi Tukker.

The lineup was absolutely packed, so much so that fans had to choose wisely who they wanted to see. Sacrifices were made here and there during the day, because must-see after must-see artists lined the numerous stages from day to night for three days straight. From expansive stages like the Downtown Stage and Ambassador Stage, to the immersive laser show at the Fremont Stage, artists from all genres of music rocked out, danced and even leaped into the audience on numerous occasions (one even surfed the crowd in a giant rubber ducky…but more on that later). 

If the huge, arena-style stages weren’t enough for fans, the more intimate Toyota Music Den offered something absolutely different as artists who were just on the large stages came over for a stripped down, often acoustic, performance where they were, literally, directly in front of their fans. 

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Live music from some of the biggest acts in music past and present, with a ton of younger artists who are absolutely shaking the industry to its core. How could it be any better than this? Perhaps some of the conversations heard while at the festival will show just how different Life is Beautiful really is from other music festivals. 

AXS caught up with a few of them while in the crowd in between sets. Here is what they had to say about this past weekend’s fest:

“Camaraderie here is awesome; it’s more than any other festival I’ve ever been to. On top of that, it’s right here in downtown Vegas. You have the art, the music. It’s great. There’s more to it than just music,” Arjen Mackaaij, a native of the Netherlands, shared.

Equally awestruck by the vibe of the weekend and the charity of fellow festival-goers was Sally, an industry insider who has been to some of the largest festivals around the world. “This festival is entirely different than anything I’ve ever experienced. At most festivals, people can be downright mean and cruel to one another. But not here. People are generally alive and in love; you come here and you really do have hope in the fact that life is beautiful.”

Excited to catch his act of the weekend, De La Soul, Suresh (who works in I.T. in San Francisco, and yes, he says he basically tells people to “turn it off, turn it on” all day long) was awestruck by the helpfulness of the staff and the environment as a whole. “The energy is great. The staff has been great. It’s a great, clean experience.” 

Perhaps it was The xx who summed up the experience best. Asking for the lights to be turned up on the crowd in the midst of their set they said, “more than ever we want to see you all; to see all of you altogether unified…is a beautiful thing.” 

There was a lot of beauty to behold from this past weekend, so keep it right here on AXS as we bring more reviews of art, musical acts and the festival as a whole. 

If you can hardly wait for next year’s festival, mark your calendars now as Life is Beautiful will return to downtown Las Vegas for a sixth year on Sept. 21-23, 2018.