October’s Life is Beautiful festival may still be months away, but you can get a look at what’s in store—and how it will fit in the global music fest scene—this weekend at Festival Generation Week, a three-day series of free events and interactive discussions held Downtown as part of local startup CatalystCreativ’s monthly speaker series.
The series runs from April 4 through April 6 and will feature TED Talk-style presentations with experts from across the music industry examining the evolving role of music festivals in popular culture and what Las Vegas locals want from a festival they can call their own.
“A lot of people are asking about whether festivals are just this fad, a trend, and when is the bubble going to burst,” says Rehan Choudhry, festival founder and CEO of Aurelian Marketing Group, about the inspiration for the series. “We want to reinforce that festivals aren’t a fad, it’s not a hype thing. It’s an entire generation of audiences of entertainment enthusiasts who have evolved over time to this moment.”
Choudhry says the interactive talks, which encourage audience participation, will provide festival organizers with an opportunity to get a different perspective on how they should be focusing entertainment in both the Las Vegas market and the music festival market in general.
“I don’t think it’s entirely coincidental that as we transition more and more into social networks that we’re relying on these moments in time once or twice a year where large groups can get together and interact very personally as single voice,” he says.
Speakers will range from locals like Choudhry and First Fridays LV Managing Partner Joey Vanas to record industry executives, music-based nonprofit leaders, reps from festivals like SXSW and Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell.
Other events tied to the series include a curated local music showcase, featuring acts like Rusty Maples and Sabriel, at Backstage Bar and Billiards Thursday evening and an afterhours party at Pulse nightclub later that night.
“CatalystCreativ's mission is to build community to create more active participants in making the world a better place. Life Is Beautiful perfectly aligns with our mission statement because [it] allows for people to tap into the artist inside them to come out and be a part of the larger story,” says Catalyst founder and CEO Amanda Slavin of the group’s choice to feature the festival in this month’s “Catalyst Week” series.
Festival Generation Week kicks off Thursday afternoon with a “Meet the Speakers” community mixer at the Downtown Project Construction Zone at 4:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For details and the full schedule, visit the event's website.