weather icon Partly Cloudy

Billie Eilish energizes iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas

Updated September 21, 2019 - 9:28 pm

Billie Eilish called it out from a stage that was warming up.

“I want everybody to jump!” the rising pop star shouted Saturday afternoon on the Las Vegas Strip. “If I can do it, you can do it!”

The crowd at Las Vegas Festival Grounds for iHeartRadio Music Festival’s Day Stage dutifully hopped, right along with the 17-year-old singer/songwriter making her second Vegas festival appearance within 24 hours. Eilish he also performed at Life is Beautiful on Saturday night.

Eilish’s performance was a highlight in the iHeartRadio Music Festival outdoor show, tucked between the two night-time productions at T-Mobile Arena. The lineup was further peppered by Maren Morris, Juice Wrld, Old Dominion, H.E.R, Zara Larsson, CNCO, Brett Young, Fletcher, Monsta X, Bryce Vine, Lauv and Loud Luxury.

Collectively, that group helped regenerate the festival atmosphere at the Festival Grounds, or LVFG for short — you can now see that logo on merchandise on the site. The turnout was strong, 22,000, a bit below prefestival prognostications but more than double last year’s event on the same weekend with a similarly stellar lineup.

Expect LVFG to become an even more prominent player on the national festival scene as Las Vegas Village, site of Daytime Stage prior to the Oct. 1 shootings, is being turned into a community and athletic center and parking lot.

Today, parcel owner MGM Resorts International’s outdoor festival focus is squarely on the LVFG site. The next large-scale, multiday festival, Day N Vegas, runs Nov. 1-3 with J. Cole, Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar headlining.

“We’re looking at 60,000 a day for Day N Vegas, and we will be knee deep in that event,” said Daren Libonati, MGM Resorts’ vice president of festivals and entertainment, during the event Saturday. “We think it will be the premiere site in Las Vegas because of its location, size and ease to move around the venue.”

Libonati said that interest remains from his company to possibly stage a Las Vegas outpost of the annual Kaaboo “mixperience” festival, which draws upward of 125,000 fans and has been held at Del Mar Fairgrounds in California since 2015. Just this week, Virgin Fest, the festival arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin brand, bought the festival. (Branson’s company, of course, is in partnership with JC Hospitality at Hard Rock Hotel, which will be rebranded as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in November 2020.)

The main Kaboo festival will move to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, beginning in 2020, but a Kaboo-branded event could be staged in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts has already been a hospitality partner at the Kaboo festival in Del Mar, with installations promoting such amenities as the Aces of Comedy series at the Mirage and Jewel nightclub at Aria.

“Kaaboo has been a wonderful partner for a long time prior to the Route 91 festival and we continue to talk and communicate,” Libonati said. “It really comes down to, who wants to play the risk and put up the money. We look for partners who want to be partners. We just haven’t gotten there yet.”

Libonati said it would be 2021 or 2022 before a Kaaboo Vegas event would open on the Strip. The Kaaboo festival consistently sells out at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, but has experienced mixed results with two events that debuted this year.

A three-day event at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in May was a box-office flop and there are no announced plans to return. A two-day show in March in the Cayman Islands is sold out, but a second Cayman show was canceled without explanation.

Whether or not that festival makes it to Las Vegas is still to be sorted out. The next scheduled event of any kind is the USA Today Wine & Food Experience on Oct. 26.

“This place can be whatever we want it to be,” Libonati said. “That’s the beauty of it.”

New stage at Park MGM

A stage for open, free, live entertainment is moving in to Park MGM on Oct. 26 in front of the new Mama Rabbit bar. The music should blanket the casino, serving as a soundtrack for folks waiting to enter Park Theater.

The Green factors

Green Day as a Las Vegas resident band make sense artistically, but financially is another matter. The band is going to be making what concert bookers refer to as “sick arena money” on its upcoming “ Hella Mega Tour,” with Weezer and Fall Out Boy. When bands make sick arena money, it can take a year or more to return them to the reality of theater residencies.

Great Moments In Social Media

Cher’s Twitter feed is consistently entertaining, unbridled and sprinkled with emojis.

On Thursday, the Park Theater headliner posted, “Some Creeps Were/Are Selling BOGUS MEET & GREETS ON THE ROAD … I “RARELY DO MEET & GREETS ON THE ROAD …” She emphasized that the money made from her meet-and-greet VIP tickets in Las Vegas goes to MGM Resorts, then added, “IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH … I THINK THEY SHOULD GIVE THEM AWAY. MGM OBVIOUSLY DOESN’T NEED THE CASH.”

She sprinkled the message with some some ghost, cash-bag and eye-roll emojis. I believe MGM would take the counter position on this subject …

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Nation’s Largest Student Farmers Market
600 students participate in massive farmers market, Oct. 23,2019. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giant Student Farmers Market in Las Vegas
The largest student-run farmers market in the country involved 600 kids from more than 50 schools in the Las Vegas area selling fruits and vegetables grown at their schools. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves beer special in the Las Vegas Arts District - VIDEO
James Manos of Able Baker Brewing talks about offering a Golden Knights game-day promotion to celebrate partner Ryan Reaves at its Main Street tasting room. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress of "Mixed-ish" - VIDEO
Interview with Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress, a young star of the new ABC comedy "Mixed-ish." (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review -Journal) @bizutesfaye
Sourdough Cafe at Arizona Charlie’s in Las Vegas makes horseradish potato chips - VIDEO
Sean Gassaway, room chef at the Sourdough Cafe at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur in Las Vegas, makes horseradish potato chips by heating prepared horseradish to remove some of the moisture, mixing it with kosher salt and further dehydrating it, tossing it with house-made chips and serving it as a monthly special with a bratwurst on a roll, sauerkraut, spicy mustard and a cup of cheese dip. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Central Perk coffee shop opens for business
As part of Saturday’s “Friends” Fan Experience at New York-New York hotel-casino, the artist Nathan Sawaya debuts his life-size, 700-square-foot re-creation of the show’s Central Perk coffee shop that’s constructed entirely out of Lego bricks. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Binion's debuts a spinning bar overlooking Fremont Street Experience
Binion's debuted its spinning bar inside the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon. The Rotating bar only goes at one full rotation per 15 minutes overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Green Eggs and Ham at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas
Scott Simon, executive chef at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas, makes a Green Eggs and Ham Flatbread with pistou, smoked mozzarella, tasso ham and eggs. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Lemon Semifreddo Dessert at Vetri Cucina in Las Vegas
Ashley Costa, pastry chef at Vetri Cucina at the Palms in Las Vegas, freezes lemon curd with whipped cream, sandwiches it between polenta-based crumiri cookies, sprinkles it with powdered sugar and drizzles it with argrumato, a lemon olive oil. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Hard Rock Memorabilia Exhibition
The 2,600-square-foot exhibit, which is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays to Mondays through Jan. 31, spans eras and genres alike. There are numerous rare and never-before-seen items here, featuring artists from ZZ Top to Nine Inch Nails, Bo Diddley to Britney Spears. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Museum of Selfies coming to Las Vegas - VIDEO
The interactive attraction offers several new selfie opportunities. (Museum of Selfies)
Show of Strength in 'A Choreographers Showcase' - VIDEO
"A Choreographers Showcase" pairs artists from Nevada Ballet Theater and staff from all facets of Cirque du Soleil to design an annual show. (Elizabeth Page Brumleyy/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
David Chang talks about what to expect at his new restaurant, Majordomo Meat & Fish - VIDEO
David Chang tells fans what to expect at his new restaurant, Majordomo Meat & Fish, at The Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pink Lady and Rosey Mary cocktails at Therapy in Las Vegas
Terence Beach, bartender at Therapy restaurant in Las Vegas, makes original pink cocktails to benefit breast cancer research. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Torrijas dessert served at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill in Las Vegas
Chef Christian Lee of Sugarcane at The Venetian in Las Vegas makes a dessert of torrijas, a Latin French toast, serving it with a caramelized-apple sauce and cinnamon ice cream. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
David Chang to sell Tasty Patties at Palazzo in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Chef David Chang has announced a casual concept that will accompany his new Majordomo Meat & Fish at Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Latkes, tzimmes at Market Place Buffet in Las Vegas for Rosh Hashanah
Ryan Swanson, Market Place Buffet room chef at the JW Marriott/Rampart Casino in Las Vegas, makes potato dishes as part of the resort’s Rosh Hashanah buffet. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
How Elphaba In "Wicked" turns green - VIDEO
Mariand Torres gets "painted" by makeup supervisor Joyce McGilberry for her role as Elphaba in "Wicked" at The Smith Center. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Hangover is served at The Crack Shack in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Khine Moore, executive chef at The Crack Shack at Park MGM in Las Vegas, makes The Hangover with a fried chicken breast or thigh dipped in honey-butter, sprinkled with Crack Seasoning and topped with an egg. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dessert Before Dinner winner Becky Quan
Nine of Las Vegas’ top women pastry chefs offered original creations built around Girl Scouts Trefoils shortbread cookies Saturday night at Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada’s annual Desserts Before Dinner Gala. The top dessert, as voted on by the audience, was an homage to Good Humor’s old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars created by NoMad’s Becky Quan. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Chef Sammy D is cooking again in Las Vegas
Sam DeMarco served his first public meal since returning to Las Vegas on Sunday, with a pop-up brunch at 7th & Carson. And the veteran of the First Food & Bar, Rattlecan and Sam’s American has more in store for the downtown spot. The chef, known as Sammy D. to his friends, is taking on a consulting chef role with restaurant that will see some of Sunday’s offerings added to the regular menu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Carl’s Donuts in Las Vegas celebrates National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day
Carl’s Donuts, a Las Vegas-based company that’s been serving the city since 1966, celebrates National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day with specialties themed to fall. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars" has a new store - VIDEO
Rick Harrison, the Pawn Stars co-star and owner of Gold & Silver Pawn, talks to the Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes about his soon-to-open Rick’s Collection retail outlet of mostly mid-century masterworks at the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pok Pok Wing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves Pad Thai Thamadaa - VIDEO
Because of popular request, the 1-year-old Pok Pok Wing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves Pad Thai Thamadaa, with shrimp, ground pork, neither or both. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trial by Fire cocktail at the Golden Tiki in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Adam Rains, head bartender (also Grand Poobah and a few other things) at The Golden Tiki in Las Vegas, makes one of the bar’s tiki drinks, (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gordon Ramsay renovating Las Vegas steakhouse - VIDEO
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is preparing to re-launch his Paris Las Vegas restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cats owners compete for top show awards
The annual Jazzy Cats event is taking place at the Rio Convention Center this weekend attracting cats owners from around the country and the world to compete for the top show awards. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas serves blackened Cajun catfish - VIDEO
Troy Remer, sous chef at Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, blackens Cajun catfish on the grill before serving it with mashed potatoes and collard greens. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Gold Encrusted Filet Mignon at Mr. Chow - VIDEO
This just may be the gold standard for the filet mignon. Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has introduced The Gold Encrusted Filet Mignon, which is coated with real 24-karat gold. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Working as a mermaid in Las Vegas - VIDEO
McKenzie Kawano works as a mermaid at the aquarium at the Silverton in Las Vegas. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)