Thirty-seven minutes. That’s all it took.
When tickets for Life is Beautiful 2021 went on sale in March, the festival sold out in little over a half an hour.
That’s more than 50,000 three-day passes gone in about the time in takes to catch a “Seinfeld” rerun, easily a record for the music, arts and food festival, now in its eight go-round after skipping 2020 because of the pandemic.
“To have it happen that quickly was really an amazing feeling,” says Craig Asher Nyman, Life is Beautiful’s head of music and live performances, “to know that people wanted to come to back to Life is Beautiful, they want to come back to Vegas, they want to be able to revel around the streets.”
Of course, the music remains the fest’s main draw, this year’s headliners including psych-pop space cases Tame Impala, punk snot rockets Green Day and of-the-moment singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, with a deep undercard ranging from razor-tongued rapper Megan Thee Stallion to guitar heroine St. Vincent to EDM stadium-filler Illenium.
As for the other attractions spread across 18 city blocks downtown: You can meditate with Deepak Chopra, learn how to make ace adult beverages at a cocktail school helmed by leading local mixologists and maybe have a few spit takes with comedian Sarah Cooper, who went viral in 2020 with her satirical clips of former president Donald Trump.
So, what’s new for 2021?
Well, finally there’s something for the boot scootin’ set: the debut of the Western Country Club, a full-on honky-tonk with Vegas’ own The Rhyolite Sound as one of the house bands during the weekend.
Container Park will also have a new look.
“Container Park is flipping into a rising star stage,” Nyman explains. “Emerging artists that I’m going to guess that people haven’t heard, they’re going to be introduced to a lot of new sounds from all over the country, some international artists, some locals.”
Additionally, Life is Beautiful will host its first silent disco this year, featuring “a lot of Vegas DJs that people will know,” Nyman says. “That’s going to be a really cool experience for us.”
An experience two years in the making.