I wasn’t supposed to be there. Really I wasn’t. I wanted to go, but I was supposed to be in Phoenix. Then a dear friend – let’s call him “G” – texts me to say he has a pass for me. Hubby goes to Phoenix without me. It is a GA pass, and I am totally cool with that. Along the way, new friend “L” gives me a “Holy Shit” wristband that allows me access to literally everywhere except backstage. How’s that for serendipity?
This third year of the event is the first time my schedule has allowed me to attend. I was so energized and overwhelmed by the experience that it took me until today to finish writing this.
Here is what I learned about Life is Beautiful:
- You need to plan and stick to the plan. I didn’t get to see any of the speakers I wanted to see because I didn’t stick to my plan. I’d run into people I knew and end up talking to them instead of dragging them with me to the Learning Center and by the time I got to the venue, the room was full.
- The organizers drastically underestimated the appeal of Bill Nye. I talked to a few people who said the room was so packed they couldn’t get in, that he really warranted a stage. Of course I wasn’t there.
- September is too hot for this event – it really needs to be in October.
- Drink more water
- You will never get to see and do everything you want, even if you are there all 3 days. There are often conflicting scheduled performers.
- Do the research on the bands so you’re better informed and can choose which venue to visit if there is a conflict.
- After speaking with a wheelchair bound attendee, I learned that LIB had excellent access for the handicapped. He said he had been to more than 20 festivals of this type THIS YEAR and LIB was in the top 3 for accessibility.
- Walking into the crowd at a Snoop concert is like walking into the crowd at a George Clinton show – be prepared for a contact high.
- I could have make a FORTUNE if I had a booth selling ICE!
Here is what surprised me about Life is Beautiful
- The Killers! Brandon Flowers was supposed to perform without The Killers. SURPRISE!
- I was more interested in the art installations than I expected to be. The Art Motel was a brilliant use of reclaimed space with fabulous interactive art.
- I didn’t see one fight
- I didn’t see anyone who was severely over-served (aka – drunk as a skunk)
- The vibe was MUCH more mellow than I expected. People were acting like they were Canadian apologizing for bumping into you <smirk, giggle, snort>
- A flowy skirt is a good choice. Pants are bullshit.
- Duran Duran was fantastic! They looked good and sounded great!
- Helpful and polite staff, including ALL team members!
- Free drinks at Commonwealth from It’s On Me
What I loved best about LIB was…
- Free water stations…even if it was piss warm
- No Selfie Sticks allowed!
- The variety of food trucks
- The map was excellent! Compact with a complete schedule of events included and easy to read.
- The APP!!! Create your own schedule, follow along with what is hot, and search by artist, time slot or venue to find exactly what you want.
- My “Holy Shit” wristband allowed me into the artists’ lounge so I could hang out with my fellow culinary friends, enjoy Brian Howard’s roasted pork and an open bar.
- My fave bar, Atomic Liquors, was in the footprint of the festival grounds this year so I could go in, cool off, drink great beer and use a REAL commode.
Biggest disappointment? Not getting to see the Banksy art installation truck open. There was no schedule as to when the back of the truck would be open, you just had to luck into seeing it. I guess that is par for the course with Banksy!
Schedule permitting, I am attending next year with a better plan to NOT miss anything I am truly interested in seeing. I also learned that the “Holy Shit” band could not be purchased. It was a gift from the sponsors. SOOOO….I am putting it out there NOW for 2016 that I was truly grateful and would love that opportunity again!