The lineup of bands and celebrity chefs are the big draws for this weekend’s Life Is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas. The festival’s performance artists are a delightful bonus.
But festivalgoers just might learn something along the way, too.
Life Is Beautiful offers a “learning” component featuring more than three dozen speakers, from Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters to technology superstars, sharing their success stories.
“It’s a unique part of the festival,” says Staci Perkins of CatalystCreativ, the community design company that helped put together the learning component. “The goal of the speaker series is to inspire people. It’s really the glue that holds the festival together.”
Music is music, food is food, art is art. And the speakers hammer home the festival’s message.
“Life Is Beautiful is realizing your passions and following your dreams,” Perkins says. The speakers will be answering the question: “Why is your life beautiful and how did you come to realize what makes it beautiful?”
They will talk about their triumphs but also about the obstacles they’ve faced and the lessons learned on the road to success.
“These are all good people with a good story,” Perkins says. “The speakers all have something very personal to share. This gives them a place to open and show a more vulnerable side.”
It’s certainly a varied group, including UFC fighters Forrest Griffin, Miesha Tate and Pat Barry; Harry Shum Jr. of “Glee”; Zappos boss Tony Hsieh; P90X co-founder Tony Horton; as well as members of MTV’s “The Buried Life” and Cirque du Soleil performers.
Other speakers include Courtnee LeClaire Westendorf, Intel Media; Undroppable creator Jason Pollock; Rehan Choudhry, co-founder of Life Is Beautiful festival; celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez; Matt Mullenweg, Wordpress; ultraendurance athlete Jason Lester; TV host Quddus; O.A.R. drummer Chris Culos; Jim Kwik, Kwik Learning; Daniel Kraft, physician, scientist, FutureMed; Sean Stephenson, author of “Time to Stand”; Paull Young, charity:water; Will Travis, ATTIK and Sid Lee agencies; Steve Brown, Intel; Brad Sugars, ActionCOACH; singer David Daniel Hudson; Marcia Wieder, Dream University; Scott “The Human Calculator” Flansburg; Miki Agarwal, author of “Do Cool Sh*t”; Maneesh K. Goyal and David Munczinski, Live in the Grey; Jamie Wheal, Flow Genome Project; Tim Chang, Mayfield Fund; Rajil Kapoor, Snapfish and fitmob; David Uslan, Graphicly; Lars Schmidt, NPR; Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Skillshare; Prerna Gupta, Smule; Cristina de Jesus, Green Dot Public Schools; Rudy Lopez-Negrete, Lopez Negrete Communications; Jia Jiang, Entresting.com and writer of blog “100 days of rejection.”
The speakers series will take over the Fremont Country Club and Backstage Bar & Billiards from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s a new refreshing way to enjoy a festival, and it’s a way to walk away learning something about the speakers and their success but also learning something about yourself,” Perkins says.
For more information, visit www.lifeisbeautiful.com/learning.