Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 | 9:01 p.m.
The inaugural Life Is Beautiful in downtown Las Vegas is off and running, and contributing photographer Erik Kabik was onsite for a photo gallery. LIB commenced Friday with its official kickoff party, Grills & Guitars.
The event featured a feast prepared by 16 star chefs, including Bruce Bromberg, Aaron Sanchez, Scott Conant, Cat Cora, Rick Moonen, Kim Canteenwalla, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, David Myers, Jet Tila and Clayton Arakawa, and music by Dawes and Todd Rundgren.
The first day of the festival Saturday drew some 20,000 to downtown for 15 blocks of music, food, art and learning with five music stages, a culinary village, an alchemy garden, a street-art program curated by Charlotte Dutoit, a learning program with speakers and more.
Highlights of the festival:
Kanye West, who performed at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday night, toured the footprint of the festival with co-founder Rehan Choudhry and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh pre-opening.
At Grills & Guitars, Nancy Silverton presented Jonathan Waxman with the Lifetime Achievement Award surrounded by Sanchez, Bromberg, Michael Symon and Choudhry.
Hometown heroes Imagine Dragons played their biggest show in Las Vegas to date and spoke about their excitement of being part of the transformation of downtown. Their set ended with a surprise appearance by cast members of Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere” at Treasure Island.
Childish Gambino performed Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Capital Cities covered a BeeGees song and two versions of their hit “Safe and Sound,”
and Beck performed Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
Sanchez packed the room during his demonstration “Chefs on Stage,” Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons joined Tila during his demonstration, and Youngblood Hawke cooked with Cora.
Speakers including Tony Horton and MTV’s “The Buried Life” cast and creators, Cirque’s “The Beatles’ Love” at the Mirage performed on Fremont Street, and Kings of Leon closed out the festival’s first night with a set that included a three-song encore.
LIB wraps tonight with Las Vegas heroes and headliners The Killers. Check out extensive coverage of Life Is Beautiful at LasVegasWeekly.com.
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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