If you’re a music fan, there’s no doubt you’ll be in Las Vegas for the weekend of September 17th – 19th, 2021! The biggest names in the music industry are hitting the stage for two epic festivals: the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-Mobile Arena and Life Is Beautiful Music and Art Festival in downtown Las Vegas.
So, what’s the difference? Which one is better? Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s iHeart Radio Music Festival and Life Is Beautiful (LIB) weekend.
It’s a Vibe
There are some clear differences between the iHeart Radio and Life Is Beautiful festivals. One of those differences is the vibe.
Life Is Beautiful
On one hand, Life Is Beautiful has more of a “festival” vibe, mirroring Coachella crowds and an art walk atmosphere. It is more of a traditional music festival, with multiple stages stretching across designated grounds, complete with featured street artists, comedians, culinary experiences and inspiring speakers (in addition to musical acts).
Downtown Las Vegas provides an artistic and nostalgic Sin City backdrop to this eclectic and expressive music and arts festival.
Dates: Friday, September 17th – Sunday, September 19th, 2021
Location: Downtown Las Vegas (covering 18 city blocks extending from 7th to 11th Street and from Mesquite to Carson Ave.)
- Festival entrances are located at Fremont & 7th Street and Fremont & 11th Street.
- LIB is also hosting more intimate performances at smaller venues across Vegas. Learn more here.
- Downtown parking will be extremely limited – Rideshare, taxi, public transportation or walking to the LIB festival are your best options.
- You will need to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry. Read the LIB Health & Safety Guidelines for more details.
On the other hand, iHeart Radio is more geared towards the mainstream, with celebrity presenters, a lineup of hit pop singers and bands, a location right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip and an atmosphere that is more appropriate for concert-goers of all ages. Think chart-topping hits from artists across all pop genres. It’s also an indoor venue with assigned seats.
Overall, it’s a fun time with a good crowd that puts you right in the middle of all the action on the Strip.
Dates: Friday, September 17th – Saturday, September 18th, 2021
Location: T-Mobile Arena, 3780 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Las Vegas, NV 89158
- The Daytime Stage is located at Area15 just west of the Strip (3215 S. Rancho Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89102).
- Parking will be limited (and expensive!) – Rideshare, taxi, public transportation or walking to the festival is recommended.
- You will need to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry. Read the iHeart Health & Safety Guidelines for more details.
Headliner Roll Call
Although there is some overlap of musical artists for these two music festivals, it’s not as much as you would expect. Here are some of the artists you can see throughout the weekend.
Life Is Beautiful
Billie Eilish will grace the Life Is Beautiful stage, but that seems to be the only big-name headliner the festivals will share. Other artists in the LIB lineup include Tame Impala, Haim, Megan Thee Stallion, Green Day, A$AP Rocky, Young Thug, 6lack, St. Vincent, Modest Mouse, Willow Smith and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.
With multiple stages allowing simultaneous performances at any one time, there’s a long list of other musicians who are part of the Life Is Beautiful lineup. You’ll also have a chance to see different types of acts and festival experiences, including comedy, art and inspirational talks. Some past speakers include Bill Nye, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ru Paul.
The biggest pop headliners you’ll find at iHeart include Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Coldplay, Maroon 5, J.Cole, Florida Georgia Line and Khalid. However, you can also expect performances from bands whose success has spanned decades, including Cheap Trick, Journey and even Weezer.
As a bonus, Finneas is featured as a special guest at iHeart. You may know him as Billie Eilish’s brother and Grammy-winning producer, but he is an amazing singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and performer in his own right. If you’re still on the fence on which festival to pick, check out the full iHeart Radio Music Festival lineup.
Location, Location, Location
For those familiar with Las Vegas, you’ll know there’s a marked difference between the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas. This could be a big deciding factor for you, depending on where you’re staying and what you’d like to do before and after the festival.
T-Mobile Arena is conveniently located close to all things Strip-related on the south end of Las Vegas Blvd. Just outside of New York-New York and across the street from MGM Grand, you’re surrounded by mega-resorts and casinos that offer plenty to do. However, you can expect big weekends crowds (unrelated to the festival) and very long walks to get from one casino to the next.
It’s also likely you’ll burn through your budget more quickly on the Strip because prices are often inflated for tourists. However, you’ll be central to the action if you prefer to stay in this neck of the woods.
Life Is Beautiful
The LIB festival will take place over 18 square blocks in downtown Las Vegas, just adjacent to everything Fremont Street Experience, Fremont East District and the Las Vegas Arts District have to offer. To put it plainly, downtown is where Las Vegas locals choose to hang out.
Downtown Las Vegas casinos, bars and restaurans are more intimate, with many of them being locally-owned. Also, bar hopping and exploring is fun and easy without having to navigate long pedestrian bridges as you would on the Strip.
The Slotzilla Zipline, Viva Vision light shows, Downtown Container Park, multi-tier Stadium Swim pool at Circa, dancing dealers and flair bartenders are just some of the things you can expect right outside the Life Is Beautiful festival gates.
Another element that could give you some insight into what you can expect from these two festivals is their sponsors. Here’s a look at the biggest sponsorships for iHeart and LIB.
With this event being held at the T-Mobile Arena, it’s no surprise that T-Mobile and MGM Resorts have partnered with iHeart for the festival. However, iHeart also boasts an impressive list of national sponsors, including Expedia, Samsung Galaxy, Wendy’s, Sprouts Farmers Market, The CW, Advil and Excedrin.
Life Is Beautiful
Not to be outshined, LIB has partnered with the City of Las Vegas, Toyota, Zenni Eyewear, Bacardi, Bud Light Seltzer, Tequila Patron, Stella Artois, Jim Beam, Tito’s Vodka and Weedmaps. Take from that what you will!
Take Your Pick
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect at each festival, your decision might be a little easier—or not. Each music event has its perks! And who’s to say you can’t attend both? Whatever your choice, downtown Las Vegas will be prepped, primed and ready to keep the party going all weekend.
Check out things to do in downtown Las Vegas, and we’ll see you September 17th – 19th!
Tell us what festival you are attending in the comments below!