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Life Is Beautiful continues its Vegas evolution during its sixth Downtown edition

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St. Vincent performs during the second day of the Life Is Beautiful festival in Downtown Las Vegas on September 22, 2018.
Photo: Yasmina Chavez

Life is Beautiful No. 6 is now in the books and … wow, we’re already six in. After a shaky start, with lots of speculation as to whether Las Vegas could sustain a homegrown music festival, here we are—another year in which tens of thousands of revelers packed the streets of Downtown Las Vegas, hopping between various performers, embarking on Las Vegas’ most stimulating art crawl and sampling from the best assortment of local eateries on the Vegas calendar. That sort of scale and patronage means LIB is now a fixture—figuratively and literally.

This is also to say the 2018 edition was handily the biggest ever, from how many people attended (more than 180,000 combined over three days) to how many options they had at any given time. But perhaps more notably, this LIB saw women rule the stages, from the synth-powered feminism of Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry, to First Aid Kit shoving country music into the #metoo movement, to Lizzo’s ribald body-positive celebration, to DJ Alison Wonderland and the tent-swelling masses lured by her anthemic EDM, to comedian Michelle Wolf’s whip-smart wisecracks, to Miss Behave’s riotous spontaneity (executed during three sets a day, no less), to headliner Florence Welsh’s jaw-dropping, three-plus-octave dominion over the entire main stage and everyone within earshot of it.

And if one thing was made abundantly clear this year, it’s that LIB is no longer ours. Gone are the days where we’d stop three or four times to greet familiar faces before arriving at our next destination. Now, we zigzag through throngs like human Plinko chips, wondering where the hell all these people came from. (Blame Southern California, right?) But there’s no problem here. We’re used to sharing Las Vegas with tens of thousands of people. And with minimal growing pains, this year’s LIB was further proof we do it rather well.

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