2013 was the inaugural year of Life is Beautiful festival. This was also my fifth different multi-day music festival. As I’ve said in previous posts, Lollapalooza is my staple and the one that all festivals are compared to.
Downtown Las Vegas: Fremont Experience and several hotels are within walking distance of the festival. There are also shuttles (for a fee) available from The Strip to downtown. Attendees can see views of the Spring Mountains and the new Downtown Grand hotel. The area blocked off for the festival includes several bars and restaurants that were all open for business during the festival.
Chicago’s Grant Park: This park is walkable from several nearby hotels and offers amazing Chicago skyline views. You are also close to several bars and restaurants in The Loop and Michigan Avenue.
Life is Beautiful takes over 15 city blocks of Downtown Las Vegas and allows for a daily capacity of 100,000. The stages were fairly well spread out. Any stages that are closer together alternate performance times to avoid any sound overlap of the bands. It is fairly easy to walk around from stage to stage even with the crowds.
Lollapalooza takes over 115 acres of Grant Park and allows for a daily capacity of 100,000. It does take longer to go between the two end stages, but with all stages being further apart you don’t run into the problem of the performance at another stage interfering with the band you are seeing. The stages that are in the same area alternate set times – when the performance on one stage is over, the other stage beings its performance.
Food & Beverage
Food is a major part of Life is Beautiful. There is Chefs On Stage where you can watch chef demonstrations; The Culinary Village featuring more than 50 restaurants offering gourmet dishes; The Alchemy Gardens featuring tasting sessions as well as craft beers, wines and distillers; Food Truck Alley; your standard festival food and beverage tents; and local restaurants and bars in their brick and mortar locations within the 15 city blocks..
Local businesses and regional classics are on sale at the food booths at Lollapalooza as well. Hard alcohol is only available in the VIP areas, but there are several beer tents and even a wine tent.
Life is Beautiful has several trashcans and recycling bins throughout the area. They encourage recycling and trash pick up by handing out free prize entries if you got ‘caught’ picking up trash or recycling. Sadly several of the trashcans were overflowing at the end of the night. They could have done a better job of emptying them out throughout the day so that there is less trash on the floor around the trashcans. I did not notice water-filling stations, but had enough of my own bottled water so was not specifically looking for them.
There are also plenty of trashcans around Grant Park, each with a recycling bag attached to the side. Lollapalooza also partners with Rock N’ Recycle. There are always several people walking around with the green recycling bags. You would also see workers going through the park emptying the trashcans and recycling bags to ensure they did not overflow. CamelBak also partners with Lollapalooza offering free water refills.
There are plenty of porta potties throughout the festival including some that were exclusively for women. I think that was a nice touch. They are well maintained and were clean every time I went into one.
Lollapalooza maintains their porta potties throughout the day. You actually see them being serviced. There are plenty available throughout the park and are rarely out of toilet paper.
These two festivals are very different from each other. One is in the middle of downtown while one is in a city park. Both offer a fun experience for any music lover.