Life Is Beautiful: Exploring Las Vegas
A city known for its shimmering lights, delicious dining and amazing nightlife, the destination of Las Vegas lived up to Clash’s expectations and much more.
For a first timer, Las Vegas can seem very brooding, but the more you explore, the more you realise there is much more to this area than what movies and the media depict. With a plethora of fabulous hotels, events and entertainment, Vegas is definitely an upgrade compared to wet England.
Clash was lucky enough to be able to experience a weekend in Vegas whilst a star studded festival took place. With marvellous attractions, hidden gems and the city constantly growing, Vegas is the go to destination for the time of your life.
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Over the weekend of September 20th, the sixth edition of the annual Life Is Beautiful took place in Downtown Vegas and it was nothing short of exceptional. With headliners such as Chance The Rapper, Billie Eilish, The Black Keys, and Post Malone, the festival was not only a must see for music, but had an array of other experiences. Exhibiting standup comedy - headlined by Desus and Mero, a culinary village and art in the form of murals, instillations and immersive, the festival ensured that at least everybody had something to see and there was never a moment of boredom.
Day One consisted of Billie Eilish being the usual show stopping phenomenon that she is. Performing her debut album almost in its entirety as well as cuts from her EP, the 17-year-old jumped and leaped across the stage even with a boot supporting her sprained ankle giving her screaming fans everything they wanted and more.
Whilst waiting for the next act, festival goers could explore a number of things including the Container Park (a plaza for food and gifts built amongst large containers), the Bacardi Motel which housed different rooms of different music and farmers market-esque Market In The Alley to shop local art, jewellery, clothing and more!
Next up, closing the night was Chance The Rapper giving powerful and soulful remedies of his songs from debut album ‘The Big Day’. Delaying his tour in order to take time off to help raise his newborn daughter, this was Chance’s last performance for a while and so it ensured to make sure that he started his hiatus with a bang.
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Day Two was filled with the same high energy as day one but towards the night came some disappointment. With a comedy talk hosted by Desus and Mero christening the day, the day consisted of Clash running in between stages to see acts such as Banks, Pink Sweat$, Blue Man Group and Saint Jhn.
Then, whilst getting mentally prepared for the greatness that is Lil Wayne, it was announced that he was no longer able to perform. A bittersweet moment.
This was probably a lot of people’s only chance to see Wayne due to the rumours of retirement but alas, the cancellation meant that festival-goers could now enjoy Janelle Monae in her entirety without worrying about leaving Wayne’s set early to catch her. Including four transcending costume changes and a range of dancing queens, attendees were extremely glad they did not miss this performance. She ended the night with a bang performing the single that started it all for her, ‘Tightrope’.
Embracing the crowd and also reminding them to keep fighting, she instilled a bit of hope in the audience that there were still true artists in the world.
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Day Three and the sun is still beaming in Downtown Las Vegas. Experiencing the playground, it seemed as if fire was a key theme within the activities and instillations at Life Is Beautiful. At the playground there was skeeball that exhumed a flame whenever you scored as well as a fire breathing praying mantis at the entrance of the festival - all safe of course.
Music wise, even with Rae Sremmurd and headliner Post Malone bringing the party to downtown, the unanimous highlight was definitely watching Toto perform the kitsch cult classic ‘Africa’ as the sun set. A song that could get the grumpiest person up on their feet, it really proved how life is essentially beautiful.
Before festival doors opened, that was the perfect time to discover the rest of Vegas. With an Aerosmith Museum, Haus of Gaga Showroom, and a tantalising cocktail bar (Mama Rabbit), all located at Park MGM, there was endless fun to be had. Across the way, the Bellagio is the host to Sadelle’s - a stylish all-day restaurant serving the best american cuisine which was to die for.
With Clash staying at the Palms Casino Resort, the hotel was also a popular spot. Dining at the Scotch 80 Prime located on the ground floor decorated with Basquiat paintings, the restaurant specialises in scotch based beverages along with specially sourced beef. Exquisite dining with exquisite art to bask in.
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For those who want to ensure that they’re Instagram profile is the most talked about thing during the trip, there are experiences that have a high success rate in making this happen. The Happy Place located at The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino has multiple rooms decorated with props and bright colours to provide that one picture that will make your profile the new go-to destination.
As well as this, there is also the Neon Museum located on Las Vegas Blvd. A boneyard of neon signs taken from numerous Vegas hotels, restaurants and clubs, it serves as a great place to do a bit of posing as well as learn about the signs and their origins. Lighting up the night, the museum is a must see once the sun sets.
Iconically known for its casinos, shows and nightclubs, Vegas has a superabundance of things to discover. From zip-lining above the shops on Fremont Street to the numerous celebrity residencies as well as foodie events, there’s is great difficulty in finding something to be uninterested in. No matter what you do, you’ll be doing Vegas your way and that’s the right way to do it.
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To further explore Las Vegas head to www.visitlasvegas.com.
Words: Debbie Ijaduola
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