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Life is Beautiful festival takes downtown Vegas

Hannah Dreier, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Electric Daisy Carnival it wasn't.

But while the inaugural indie music and food festival Life is Beautiful may not have drawn the massive crowds that the electronic music event attracts to Las Vegas, organizers are still calling it a success.

The two-day weekend festival sprawled over 15 blocks, with dozens of bands, including The Killers and Vampire Weekend, playing to crowds that seemed to skew a little older than a typical music festival.

Blocks sometimes seemed a bit empty, and some acts performed to sparse audiences. Lines were rare, and the event's two Ferris wheels sometimes turned with no passengers.

Organizers had expected about 50,000 attendees. On Monday afternoon, they had not provided the actual number of tickets sold. Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas' largest festival, typically draws more than 100,000.

There were a few minor hitches. The festival moved its main entrance Sunday, just as the biggest bands started to play, after a post fell down. And though organizers beautified the rundown neighborhood near the Fremont Experience with murals, potted plants and shipping containers painted with the festival's logo (a heart), they were not able to eradicate the smell of garbage that pervades the area behind the El Cortez casino.

As promised, the festival delivered plenty of bells and whistles. In addition to music and food, there was a repurposed motel featuring art installations in each room, a carnival-style strength tester, and pop-up performances by Strip acts, including Cirque du Soleil and Absinthe.

Rap star Kanye West, in town for a concert of his own, toured the footprint of the festival on Friday, and Zappo's Tony Hsieh gave a talk on to festival-goers on Sunday.

On Monday, organizers were boasting that Life is Beautiful had "made history with its unprecedented 15-bock footprint, and highly curated lineup of talented music, food, art and learning."


Hannah Dreier can be reached at https://twitter.com/hannahdreie