Life Is Beautiful experiences ‘tipping point,’ CEO says

Energized by record numbers and “tremendous national buzz,” the Life Is Beautiful festival experienced a “tipping point,” according to the event’s CEO.

Justin Weniger said the three-day crowd of 102,000 was part of a “ton of records” set in the third year of the downtown event.

That’s a major jump from the 60,000 who attended the inaugural festival and an increase of 12,000 over last year.

Weniger cited several factors, “from having a legend like Stevie Wonder on what potentially might have been his last tour” to “unparalleled energy” generated by hometown heroes Imagine Dragons to a surprise appearance by The Killers.

Wonder was Friday’s headliner, Imagine Dragons soared on Saturday and Brandon Flowers, booked as a solo act, had jaws dropping when the rest of The Killers joined him.

“That was a major moment, not just for the festival, but you could feel it for the city,” said Weniger, co-owner of Wendoh Media and in his first year as CEO of the festival.

“It was a tipping point,” he said. “People were absolutely losing their minds that The Killers came back. It was an incredible experience.”

“Steve Wonder had his whole family there,” Weniger said. “(Imagine Dragons front man) Dan Reynolds was so emotional onstage, thanking everyone from Beauty Bar and O’Shea’s to the local media,” he said.

Flowers set up his surprise perfectly, Weniger said.

“Brandon came out and said his keyboard wasn’t working. He said, ‘Give me a second.’ “

Then someone came out and swapped out his logo for The Killers and the band went right into “Mr. Brightsides,” the first song the band wrote and proclaimed the “Song of the Decade” by UK radio stations.

Weniger dismissed a rumor that was making the rounds Tuesday that the festival would not be returning to downtown in 2016.

“I’ve had several calls on that and I don’t know here that’s swirling from,” he said. “We’re very fortunate that we have people willing to be involved. Candidly, we’re not looking to move.”

The scene and heard

The Linq is abuzz over a major convention that’s using the code name “Ginseng” but is actually an under-the-radar gathering of Uber employees. Several ballrooms were booked. …

Hearing rumblings that Dayna Roselli, who left KXNT-AM (840) on Friday, may be filling one of the morning anchor seats at ABC affiliate KTNV-TV, Channel 13. She previously was a morning anchor at CBS affiliate KLAS-TV, Channel 8. …

The Who‘s 50th anniversary tour has been rescheduled after Roger Daltrey‘s recent health setback and will include a May 29 show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Daltrey is recovering from viral meningitis. The tour resumes Feb. 27 in Detroit and includes West Coast stops at the Honda Center in Anaheim on May 22, Staples Center in Los Angeles on May 25 and Valley View Casino Center in San Diego on May 27. For other dates: …

Jerry Lewis and entertainment executive H.C. Rowe will be honored today at the Global Gaming Expo’s third annual Casino Entertainment Awards show at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Wayne Newton will present the Casino Entertainment Legend award to Lewis, who will turn 90 in March. Rowe, AEG Live’s executive director of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, will receive a Casino Entertainment Legend award. Ten awards will be presented. …


Among the celebrities at the Life Is Beautiful festival over the weekend: Brody Jenner, actress Vanessa Hudgens of the “High School Musical” franchise, singer songwriter Emily Osment, actress Emmanuelle Chriqui and Devon Aoki, the face of Lancome. … Fast-rising R&B artist and songwriter Alessia Cara, meeting the Blue Man Group after watching their show on Friday. The 19-year-old Canadian performed at Life Is Beautiful … Jillian Rose Reed and Greer Grammer (Kelsey Grammer‘s daughter) of MTV’s comedy series “Awkward,” partying at Rehab (Hard Rock Hotel) on Saturday.

The punch line

“Facebook went down for the second time this week. For 42 long minutes nobody knew if it was anyone’s birthday. When Facebook goes down it makes you realize, ‘Wow, this is what life must have been like in 2003.’ ” — Jimmy Kimmel

— Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or Find more online at On Twitter: @Norm_Clarke

This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like