When, in 2016, Life Is Beautiful Art and Music Festival in Downtown Las Vegas released their manifesto, I had chills.
“It is a movement and we are the sole collective. Among us are the dreamers and doers, the challengers and compassionates, optimists and outliers. We inspire and transform, and our acts of kindness are intentional. Together we create pause, we create space to appreciate the beauty in our selves and our surroundings. We create noise. We create noise that drowns out the naysayers. The kind of noise that brings you to the here and now. The kind of noise that makes you move your feet. Life is a reason for celebration so get out there and dance. If you’ve just dropped in, join us. You’ll fit right in.”
To a backdrop of collaged videos and Imagine Dragon instrumentals, the video truly captured what it’s like at the festival. For three days, you can forget the world and feel fully and undeniably alive. The only things that matter once you pass the fire shooting mantis are music, art, food, and freedom.
But with the release of the 2018 lineup, things have taken a shocking turn.
In the past, the festival has been historically and primarily alternative music- and one of the few festivals left which focused on the genre rather than just giving it a side-stage. This year, the festival has inverted itself: giving away 90% of the lineup to EDM, Hip-Hop, and rap artists while pushing alternative music to the side.
Don’t get me wrong. There isn’t anything wrong with promoting all genres of music (the Troubadour stage has always been run by EDM artists).
But when the lineup isolates its original crowd and is more or less a regurgitation of Coachella minus Beyoncé something’s wrong.
Gone are all the fantastically plentiful alternative acts of the past (not to say the alternative acts this year aren’t fantastic, they just aren’t plentiful) and in its place is the sell-out mainstream culture of music festivals taking another victim.
But if you’re a diehard like me who is unwilling to let this experience go without a fight even if you’re upset, here are 28 artists who fall somewhere on the alt-spectrum (indie, rock, alternative, or any combination of those words together) from the most well-known names to the up and coming artists. (In no particular order)
- Arcade Fire (Indie, Alternative rock)
- Florence + the Machine (Indie rock)
- Death Cab for Cutie (Alternative rock)
- Bastille (Indie pop)
- St. Vincent (Alternative rock)
- Sylvian Esso (Indie pop)
- The Neighborhood (Indie rock)
- Robert Delong (indie rock electric)
- Sir Sly (Alternative rock)
- Welshly Arms (Alternative rock)
- ELOHIM (Alternative/Indie)
- Fletcher (Alternative/Indie)
- Yungblud (Alternative/Indie)
- Wallows (Alternative rock)
- Neil Frances (Alternative/Indie)
- O Wildly (Indie rock)
- Chvrches (indietronica)
- Foster the People (Indie pop rock)
- Cold War Kids (Indie rock)
- Orange Blood (Alternative/Indie)
- Wolfmother (Hard rock)
- AJR (Indie pop)
- Mt Joy (Alternative/Indie)
- Amy Shark (Indie pop)
- Mikki Ekko (Indie pop)
- Knox Fortune (Alternative Indie)
- Lovelytheband (Indie pop rock)
- The Dirty Hooks (Alternative rock)
It all goes down September 21-September 23 in Downtown Las Vegas. Tickets go on sale April 26th on the festival’s website.