“Let’s talk 2015 lineup. Who is on your wish list?” read a Life Is Beautiful Facebook post last week. At press time, the unofficial survey had raked in 579 likes and 887 comments, including multiple (predictable) votes for repeat-acts The Killers and Imagine Dragons, plus countless requests for pop-rock heavy hitters like Coldplay and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But fans threw out some less-obvious bands as well. It’s early in the game, but we’ve got a good idea of what Vegas wants—and LIB thinks it does, too.
“We’re always looking to connect with attendees and see what they would love,” says Craig Nyman, the Downtown festival’s head of music and live performances. He adds that the “heavy booking” is already underway, but says surveying helps to “see if the direction we’re headed is in alignment with [fans].”
Between the gourmet food and immersive art, LIB’s two October runs have been memorable, near-seamless experiences, but vocal Vegas music heads have expressed frustration with the lineup. The fest also has Electric Daisy Carnival, iHeartRadio, and now, Rock in Rio to contend with. So where does that leave LIB’s bookers, strategy-wise?
“We bounce over to a lot of different genres but try to appease everyone,” Nyman says. And if the Facebook replies are any indication, LIB fans are tough to pigeonhole. For every Brandon Flowers or Muse request, there’s one for artists like The National, FKA Twigs, Björk and The Cure. For LIB to succeed at the box office, it needs big-name headliners, but to draw the skeptics, it also needs way more left-of-center stuff.
So if you didn’t dig the 2013 or 14 lineups, now’s the time to speak up. “[We’re] taking into account recommendations and suggestions,” Nyman says. And though he’s quick to add there’s no guarantee you’ll get your pick, it’s somewhat unusual for a festival this big to even ask the public for its opinion. That kind of engagement, we hope, will have a positive effect this fall.