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Crews Cleaning Up from Life Is Beautiful Festival | News

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Crews Cleaning Up from Life Is Beautiful Festival

LAS VEGAS -- The giant Life Is Beautiful festival is over.

Thousands flocked to downtown Las Vegas this past weekend to check out big names in music.

Life was great for the estimated 60,000 music fans who went to the downtown festival. Chart-topping bands like The Killers and Empire of the Sun closed out the party Sunday night.

The crowds at Life Is Beautiful seemed to skew a little older than a typical music festival.

Blocks sometimes seemed a bit empty, and some acts performed to sparse audiences. Lines were rare, and the event's two Ferris wheels sometimes turned with no passengers.

Downtown businesses benefited from the extra traffic, especially those within the blocked off area. La Comida tells 8 News NOW that the festival was the busiest two days in the restaurant's five-month history.

The head chef says the eatery used 450 pounds of avocados for all the guacamole and the bar went through 144 bottles of tequila. He says the restaurant's busiest days are usually First Fridays but the festival crowd was far beyond what they get during the monthly event.

"On a Friday night for First Friday, we probably get 450 covers and we did over 1,000 covers just on a single day," head chef at La Comida Palona Cuellar said.

Outside the gates, some businesses were shutout of the action. Business owners said that it was difficult for regular customers to access their stores. 

The owner Rachel's Kitchen - Downtown says they are usually closed Sundays, but they decided to stay open during the festival. Owners reported a 20 percent jump in customers over regular peak hours.

"They were wonderful people. We saw a lot of families. We saw many of those people come back on Sunday. So, it was a really solid two days," Kathy Wilson with Rachel's Kitchen said.

The festival covered about 15 city blocks, and by Monday afternoon, parts of Fremont Street were still closed to traffic as crews tried cleaning up the mess left behind.

Heavy winds made it difficult to clean up the trash. The concert stages and abandoned rides made it look like a ghost town.

Festival organizers wouldn't talk to 8 News NOW, but a city of Las Vegas spokesperson says everyone should expect street closures to last until crews break down and leave, which could be Friday.

The organizers' contract allows them to stay until then.

"It is a bit of an aftermath but you know that is what happens when you put all of the planning into it, but I think it was cool," Justin, who went to the festival, said.

Justin plans to move his business here from New York. The show added to his anticipation.

"I thought the festival was great. I thought that the amount of traffic that it drove to downtown, it shows that there is major improvements happening and I'm excited to see what happens next year," he said.

The Life Is Beautiful festival is expected to return next year.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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