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Life Is Beautiful Founder Choudhry Plans Return To The Festival Stage

Festival organizer Rehan Choudhry
Festival organizer Rehan Choudhry

Life is Beautiful founder Rehan Choudhry plans to re-emerge with Emerge.

He officially announced his latest initiative Tuesday: Another Las Vegas-based festival called Emerge.

“We’re combining the best of the high-energy festival world with this incredible immersive learning platform,” the Choudhry told State of Nevada.

Choudhry helped launch Life is Beautiful in 2013 but left before last year’s event following an ownership change.

Emerge won't be downtown instead Choudhry has partnered with Caesars Entertainment to use venues at Caesars Palace, The Linq, and Harrah's. But he would like to eventually have the event be city wide.

“But for us to give the experience we want to give, especially in these first years, we wanted to work with venues and partners that we could really create a good experience throughout,” he said.

The venues won't be the only thing distinguishing it from Life is Beautiful. Choudhry said it will be a blend of experiences like combining the passionate speakers at TED conferences with great musicians from festivals like SXSW and Life is Beautiful.

“The idea is we’re completing re-imagining the way people engage with both new, next-generation musical talent and immersive, social experiences topics,” he said. 

The festival will focus on emerging artists but unlike SXSW it will feature 100 musicians instead of 2,000. And unlike TED conferences, where attendees sit in movie theater like seating, the festival will be more "dynamic," according to Choudhry. 

One of the biggest differences between Emerge and other conferences and festivals will be the price. Choudhry said early bird ticket prices will be $195 plus taxes and fees for general admission and $425 for VIP tickets. He said organizers are looking to not just have a diverse lineup of artists and speakers but a diverse audience as well.

“We want the industry exec to attend but we also want the 22-year-old who is trying to figure out their career and wants to get insight into what’s going on both in the world and in the music industry locally to be able to attend,” he said. 

They also partnered with several nonprofits including the UNLV Foundation to hand out 500 tickets to people who can't afford the general admission price. Choudhry said he wants the audience to reflect the entire community. 

While Life is Beautiful has grown to cover 18 blocks in downtown Las Vegas and draws nearly 140,000 people for music, food, and culture over three days, Choudhry believes there is enough demand in the festival arena for Emerge.

“There is an incredibly passionate and intelligent community of people who are consumers of information and consumers of new artistic expression,” he said.

For the first 48 hours that the tickets are on sale, which will be 10 a.m. Thursday, June 22 and close at 10 a.m. June 24, tickets will be offered at 2 for 1. 

Rehan Choudhry, announces new festival

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)
With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.