Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2017

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Joe Downtown: Array of speakers to tell why life is beautiful


Scott Harrison/Retna/

Life Is Beautiful festival founder Rehan Choudhry.

Music, art, food and now the Life Is Beautiful festival is adding another component to its two-day lineup: learning.

Fest organizers released a list of speakers from organizations as diverse as the UFC to a futurist from semiconductor chip maker Intel.

Rehan Choudhry, festival co-founder, said the theme for all speakers is their take on why life is beautiful. Some of those speaking are well known to Las Vegas, including Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO and investor in Downtown Project, which is a partner in the festival.

Some 20 or more speakers appear to have business or entertainment backgrounds, with the remainder involved in tech, sports or community.

Also revealed today was a list of sponsors for the event. They include Esquire magazine, Heineken USA,, Cirque du Soleil, The D, Toyota, Whole Foods, Downtown Grand and the El Cortez.

After a Friday night kickoff party, the festival runs Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27. With numerous stages for music, the festival will be spread out over 15 city blocks, all of which will be fenced in.

Along with dozens of bands — headliners include The Killers and Beck — the festival will feature the Art Odyssey, featuring the works of artists from around the world and locally.

Art Odyssey will be housed in the closed Town Lodge motel, which is being spruced up for the event, at 7th Street and Stewart Avenue.

Life Is Beautiful also includes a culinary village that will be located around the old Western hotel/casino near 7th and Fremont streets. It will feature 60-plus celebrity chefs in a Moroccan-style setting.

For a complete list of speakers and sponsors, click here.

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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