This past weekend I had the fortune to attend the “Life is Beautiful” festival in downtown Las Vegas with Zappos, and what a beautiful experience it was! Having been two years ago (the first year the festival ever took place), I had a general idea of what was in store for me this time around, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how much the festival has truly blossomed since 2013.
If you haven’t been to downtown Vegas and Fremont Street, I would suggest basing your next Sin City itinerary around them. It’s a lot like if Austin, Texas built their own mini-Vegas strip, except with a very vintage vibe and killer contemporary-yet-eclectic restaurants. And because “Life is Beautiful” has been such a critical part of reviving the downtown Vegas scene, art installations that were created for the festival (including many massive murals) decorate the city streets year-round. One of my favorite parts is the Container Park, which consists of shops inside of old shipping containers — the entrance is marked by a massive, fire-breathing praying mantis. SO cool.
In a way it felt like a small city’s answer to Burning Man at the festival. Men and women in extravagant costumes, art cars blaring music up and down the streets, a run down motel turned art gallery, an undercover Banksy installation, hot-a$$-weather.. I kiiinnddaa LOVE it!
I arrived in Vegas early Friday morning and headed straight to the Zappos studio to shoot a couple of festival-inspired outfits for their site.
If you aren’t familiar with Zappos, it’s pretty much THE spot to shop online for shoes, and now they also carry great apparel (see what I wrote about their summer dresses) and accessories brands. My favorite thing about them is, and always has been, their expedited shipping and super hassle-free returns. Plus, it seems when something I want is sold out everywhere else, I can usually still find it on Zappos. Score!
After our shoot, we chilled back at the Encore hotel for a bit before getting ready for the night. A quick dinner at Fix later, and we were on our way downtown! We made it in time for Hozier and then Stevie Wonder. Our whole gang spent the warm evening in the “Hyde Out” cabana by SBE overlooking the main stage, sipping on cool drinks and dancing like crazy to “Superstition,” “Higher Ground,” and so many others. Our evening at the festival was only topped by a private rooftop performance by Major Laser’s “Jillionaire,” at downtown hot-spot, Commonwealth, later Friday night. The Fat Jew served White Girl Rosé from the DJ booth and two of my girlfriends shot lingerie-clad photos on the floor of the “secret room” downstairs. This is all starting not to sound like real-life… but it was!
After THAT Friday night, I was slightly concerned about making it through day two of our weekend. But every Vegas-pro (which, unfortunately, I kinda am..) knows the secret to powering through a sleepless weekend of overindulgence (that is, if you forget to drink your ResQWater): Hangover Heaven. It’s the IV-drip company that sends nurses to your room that pump you full of vitamins and fluids so it’s like that party last night.. never even happened. Good to go. So that happened…
Then it was Saturday, and time to do it all over again! I headed to the festival early with my girlfriends to check out more of the art installations (including Banksy’s rainforest-in-the-back-of-a-truck and the Art Motel), food trucks and, of course, the ferris wheel! We watched Glass Animals perform, which was off the chain, obviously.
By midnight, it was time to head back to strip for Brody’s set at Bank Nightclub, followed by Martin Garrix’ set at Omnia. We met Martin at Coachella earlier this year and he’s become such a sweet friend: so immensely talented, and young but poised, funny and so full of fun energy! If you haven’t checked out his music yet, you’ve absolutely got to.
We were supposed to leave Sunday, but as noon and check-out time rolled around it became abundantly clear that we were destined to watch football from the comfort of our Vegas hotel room, flanked by room service delivery after room service delivery, all day long. After a solid night’s sleep, it was back to LA on Monday morning. Leaving behind one of the most memorable Vegas experiences I’ve had in quite some time!