Tips to have a great time at Life is Beautiful

If you’re anything like us, you’re on countdown for Life is Beautiful, the three-day celebration of music, art and food running Oct. 24 – 26 in downtown Las Vegas. Only four days to go! It’ll be here before you know it. In the meantime, read some tips for attending the festival to help you pass time until Friday.


A Ferris wheel at the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas, Oct. 26 - 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.

No sleep ’til Skrillex

The festival runs from 2 p.m. to midnight, so you’re going to need a room for the hours in between. With tens of thousands of attendees expected plus the non-festival-related tourists in town this weekend, we venture to guess it’s too late to book a room downtown. If you happen to score a room on the Strip (and you don’t have a car), budget $40 for a shuttle to take you downtown. Shuttle pickup is at The LINQ valet, next to the High Roller.

Parking: A well-oiled (slot) machine

If you have a car, it’s easy peasy. Pay, park, board a bus. Bam. You’re there. The cost is $40 for a three-day Park & Ride pass. You park a few blocks away at the World Market Center and hop on the bus for a sweet ride to the festival. Last year, the buses were of the nicely upholstered charter bus variety. They even had bathrooms. Fancy.

Megan Roo, left, and Megan Yam, center, of Las Vegas look at a 3-D mural during the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.

To bring or not to bring

Paraphernalia, no. Glow sticks, heck yeah! Blankets, hula hoops and unopened bottled water (up to one liter) are also cool. If you’re carrying a small bag (allowed), expect it to be searched before you enter – it better not contain illegal drugs, weapons, outside food and beverages, your pet or someone else’s pet. There is an exception for service animals, but documentation (which you’re allowed to keep in your small bag) will be required.

Antisocial media

If your pal decides to hang out at Outkast while you head over to The Flaming Lips, and the rest of your group hops on the Ferris wheel, make sure you designate a meeting spot. Last year, cell service was spotty at best. No one on Facebook or Twitter saw any of your selfies and text messages …. let’s just say they didn’t arrive in a timely fashion.

The Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas, Oct. 26-27, 2013. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.

Hot and cold

Late October weather is as unpredictable as a blackjack dealer’s hand. So not really all that unpredictable. It’s usually warm during the day and cold in the evening. If you’re getting to the open-air festival before sunset, dress light and wear sunscreen. And be sure to bring layers for later in the evening.


Sarah April and Jared Kash of Las Vegas hang out on 7th Street during the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.

The shoe must go on

Life is Beautiful is a grand social affair so we’re sure you’ll want to show off your personal style. We suggest finding a way to fit comfortable shoes into that equation.  The festival footprint incorporates 15 street blocks from Las Vegas Boulevard to 10th Street, and Carson Avenue to Mesquite Avenue. In other words, it’s big, and that means lots of walking.

Life is Beautiful Festival goers walk by a lit up Downtown Container Park, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.

More than meets the eye

You probably already know all about the musicians, speakers, artists and chefs within this transformational festival environment. But do you know about the businesses? There are dozens inside the festival footprint, and many which have opened to the public since last year’s event, i.e. Downtown Container Park and The Market.

Metro Police officers patrol during the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 27, 2012. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.

Enter at your own risk

You’re welcome to enter the casinos from the festival grounds, but be aware you’ll 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. Then again, we might have had a few too many drinks.

Potty time

On that note, if you’re willing to deal with the security stuff, some of the best bathrooms are in the casinos. Last year we used a restroom at the El Cortez with an attendant and lots of fancy toiletries (yes, we tipped). It was definitely a step up from the plethora of porta-potties. And if all else fails, you can always hold it in ’til it’s time to head back to the World Market Center in the fancy charter bus.