Posted On 08 Jul 2015
Tag: "Blue Collar Man", Against Me!, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, allaccessmusicnicole, Arizona, Blondie, Brandon Flowers, Caesars Entertainment, Duran Duran, Festival, Food Network, Food Network’s Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, Frankie Valli, HFStival, Las Vegas, Life Is Beautiful, Life Is Beautiful Festival, Life Is Beautiful Las Vegas, Milky Chance, Music, Music Festival, Phoenix, The Avett Brothers, The Cosmopolitan, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The White Stripes, UNLV, UNLV Creates, Walk The Moon, Washington DC
Hi Rehan! How are you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
First, I have a big speech coming up in a couple months with UNLV Creates. I am the keynote speaker for the incoming UNLV class. It is around 6,000 people, so I have been spending a lot of time honing the message.
After that I took a couple meetings with some creative friends of mine. I constantly need creative inspiration, and I have been blessed with some really incredible people in my life who are doing some amazing work. Finally, I took a couple hours to develop new concepts for two new cities I am looking to expand into. All in, a really productive day!
Prior to Life Is Beautiful, you were Director of Entertainment & Special Events for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, founder of the Food Network’s Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, and Regional Director of Marketing, Partnerships & Development for Caesars Entertainment. In addition to that you are an inspirational speaker, experiential marketer, and event producer. Take me back a couple years, Rehan. Who or what was the catalyst or inspiration for you to do all these wonderful things?
When I look back on my life, I can identify quite a few people/moments without whom I probably would have ended up down a very different life path. That said, I can narrow it down to three moments that were probably the most important to me:
The first was my very first music festival. It was the HFStival in Washington DC and I remember it being a eye opening moment for me. But at the time, I had no idea that entertainment could be a viable career.
“The second most important moment in my life was when I had my heart attack at 23. That really set the bar for my risk tolerance. We only live one life, and I will never let fear drive a life decision again.”
Finally, my parents unconditional support. I was not always walking the right path. But regardless of how far off course I veered, or how many times I stumbled, they were always there pushing me forward.
For those that are not familiar with Life Is Beautiful, how did this particular
fantastical festival come about?
“After 10 years of working in marketing, events and entertainment in general, I simply had enough with creating experiences with the purpose of achieving someone else’s financial objectives. At it’s core, my work is about making people happy. It’s about creating experiences that change your perspective of the world and encourage you to do the same for others.”
I wanted to throw myself 100% into that, and really use entertainment & event experiences to make the world a better place. Life is Beautiful was the first step. I wanted to create a festival that encouraged people to see the beauty and hope in life through the lens of blended music, food, art & learning programming. Hosting the event in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas was the icing on the cake. It gave people a completely new perspective our guests own city.
What have you learned with each Life Is Beautiful?
A ton. And I keep learning more every day. The most important thing I have learned? That we, as festival producers, only contribute 25% of the overall experience. Sure we book the bands, and the chefs, and design the festival grounds. But the remaining 75% is completely driven by audience engagement. What our fans dress like, the energy they bring, the conversations that are had, and the story that is told is largely driven by the people we are doing this for. Our fans.
What are the newest additions this year at Life Is Beautiful?
New partnerships. We are really looking to take this festival to the next level, so what better way to do that then to invite a few of our friends to the party? From Insomniac to Wendoh Media, we’ve brought together an incredible mix of people who all bring unique takes on entertainment, while all sharing the same vision of making life more beautiful.
I know it’s always hard to choose favorites, but who are you most excited to
see at Life Is Beautiful?
Duran Duran, Brandon Flowers and Walk the Moon.
Life Is Beautiful is a trailblazer and a leader in the festival culture. How do you see LIB expanding over the next couple of years? Are there any plans to take LIB abroad to other countries?
Life is Beautiful is going to continue to evolve and grow in Las Vegas over the
years. While I absolutely plan on creating additional festivals in different markets,
Life is Beautiful will remain a Las Vegas festival and brand. We created this event
uniquely for Las Vegas, and it is going to remain that way.
I understand you will be launching a worldwide philanthropic global initiative in Phoenix next year. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Well… you’re not supposed to know that yet. 😉 I want to do my part to make the world a better place to live, laugh and love in. That mission definitely includes more festivals.
Since AllAccess.com is a music publication, I’m curious who is in your current playlist? What artists or bands are in current rotation for you?
Right now, I’m listening to a playlist that I put on when I’m trying to get a lot of work done. It includes Against Me!, Arcade Fire, Blondie, Frankie Valli, Milky Chance, The White Stripes, The Avett Brothers, and more. Quite a mix…
What’s on tap next for you, Rehan? What are you most excited about for this year?
My favorite moment in any given year is 30 minutes before we open the doors to our festival. I take some time to talk to people in line to get in. It is an amazing experience to see people that excited for a weekend festival. These are our biggest fans, and I am grateful for them.
To learn more about Life Is Beautiful and purchase tickets, visit the website HERE
Photos courtesy of: Life Is Beautiful