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October 25, 2014

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Joe Downtown:

Joe Downtown: Map puts largest Life is Beautiful festival in downtown history into focus

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Life Is Beautiful Festival Map

LIfe Is Beautiful Street Art Program

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Life Is Beautiful Festival Lineup

Imagine Dragons perform Live at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »
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Rehan Choudhry, Chief Executive Officer of Aurelian Marketing Group, in the "Life Is Beautiful" offices, downtown Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013.

Fifteen blocks of the city’s urban core will be carved out and fenced in this month to make way for a cultural playground of music, art, food and learning.

The L-shaped layout of the two-day Life is Beautiful festival will stretch from Las Vegas Boulevard east to 10th Street and from Carson Avenue north to Mesquite Avenue.

The exact locations of stages — two large main stages and a handful of smaller stages — will not be disclosed until about a week before the event, a spokeswoman said. Details are still being worked out.

Employees of businesses within the festival zone, people with tickets and residents who live within the area will have passes to enter the fenced area. Streets immediately beyond the barriers will be open to pedestrians but not to general traffic.

Blocking off such a large area in the urban core of a major U.S. city is believed to be a first. What's certain is, nothing of this scope has happened in downtown Las Vegas before.

"This is the first time in Las Vegas history that this volume of city streets has been blocked off and included within a special event," festival co-founder and CEO Rehan Choudhry said. "It's typical for festivals such as ours to be hosted in parks or open areas that can be fenced in or spread across numerous businesses within a city but never the combination of the two."

Choudhry credited city officials and the Downtown Project, which over the past 18 months has purchased acres of property within the fenced area, with cooperating to bring the festival to life. The Downtown Project also is a festival partner.

More than 40 businesses are expected to participate in programs and events, as are dozens of musicians, artists, chefs and speakers.

Festival activities will run 11 a.m. to midnight Oct. 26 and 27. Organizers say they expect tens of thousands of people to attend.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown; he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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