By Sage Tippie
Life is expensive. This isn’t just a simple play on words involving the annual Vegas music and arts festival Life is Beautiful, life is quite literally expensive, and when it is, who has the money for luxury music festival tickets?
That “who” can be summed up by the few select groups of people, including fashion bloggers Instagram stars, rich kids, and the increasingly rare group of actual fans who worked and saved up for the event. After months and months of saving up for tickets, fans are disappointed to find the crowds clogged with “fake fans” and Instagram obsessed teens, who hardly take a break from their selfies and Snapchat videos to take in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Many festival-goers take their experience for granted, knowing they have the funds to attend every and all big events.
Even more frustrating than the steep ticket prices is that they continue to grow. Back when Life is Beautiful first began in 2013, the price for a general admission three-day pass was about $200. Now, that price has increased to $295. The only tickets left after the first week of sales were those for VIP admission at an outrageous $1000. Prices for a ticket are so high that Life is Beautiful offered an installment plan, seemingly knowing that it may be difficult for some to make the purchase. As demand for tickets increases, so does the price, leaving the original fans $100 short of being able to attend this year. True fans are being outpriced, and the festivals are instead crowded with a new demographic of Instagram junkies and food bloggers whose only real reason for purchasing a ticket is the desire to plaster posts about their experience on every form of social media.
This phenomenon is not unique to Vegas though; all festival prices are going through the roof. Compared to the $400 that Coachella costs for a weekend, Life is Beautiful looks like a deal, but when you realize that only four years ago that price was $100 less, it looks like a ripoff. At the rate things are going, by 2021, LIB’s price may match that of Coachella’s, or become even more than that as Coachella continues to raise prices too.
Compared to Coachella, Life is Beautiful still remains relatively under the radar, but even so, the first set of general admission weekend passes sold out in under a minute. Granted festival creators desire the number of attendees to grow each year, but it is unfortunate that some devoted fans get shut out by people who go for the wrong reasons. Those without immediate access were left ticketless and disappointed, forced to listen to their favorite bands at home while watching the festival through the lens of someone else’s posts.
For those fortunate fans that attended LIB, the weekend had the potential to be amazing. The unfortunate, however, remain outpriced and out-numbered by those simply craving a boost in followers. Sure, they can save for next year, but with an expected increase in price, they may end up in the very same place they were for this LIB weekend, watching and wishing from outside the gates of the festival.