LAS VEGAS: Artsy Inspire Theater to Open Downtown


The revitalization of downtown continues with the opening of the Inspire Theater scheduled for the month of January. The new year will bring this hip event center in the fray with a variety of art events, as well as the opening of a newsstand café, bar, and rooftop lounge. The 150-seat theater will be host to book readings, spoken word presentations, lectures, as well as musical events.

In addition to the theater, the ground floor will be occupied by the Inspire News Café, which will operate both an international news stand and a café. The news stand will carry 300+ newspapers and magazines from around the world, a boon for international travelers and those wanting something more global than the latest issue of Newsweek or the Wall Street Journal. Rumor has it there will also be a print-on-demand press for patrons to order and have a book printed and bound while they wait. Way cool.  The café portion will serve the regular arsenal of coffee and tea beverages, as well as simple and fresh food items. The bohemian atmosphere will offer a variety of seating options, wi-fi, and even an outdoor patio.

The second floor will be home to the mid-mod Wayfarer Bar overlooking the theater that will serve up craft cocktails with a retro feel. The bar scene continues to the roof, where the aptly named “The Roof” lounge will operate. This climate-controlled outdoor lounge will allow patrons to watch the activities along Fremont Street while indulging in “communal” service, meaning large pitchers of alcoholic beverages to share table-side.


SAN DIEGO: 34th Annual Jazz Fest

musical notes

Time to get your boogie on at the 34th Annual San Diego Jazz Festival. This musical festival will feature jazz, Swing, boogie woogie, rockabilly, gospel, and ragtime, with over 30 bands playing 7 venues over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Held at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, this year’s event will feature tributes to both Louis Armstrong and Irving Berlin, as well as New Orleans-style parades and a Battle of the Bands. Venues include large concert rooms, double dance floors to flaunt your style, as well as more intimate “listening” rooms.

For those of you wanting to be more participatory, there will be a Sunday morning hymn-along, dance classes, and a number of jam sessions.

A full festival line-up and schedule can be found here.

34th Annual San Diego Jazz Fest
: November 27-December 1
Where: Town & Country Resort
Cost: $105 (5-day), $100 (4-day) and $95 (3-day) or daily admission Wednesday 7-11pm $15, Thursday 6-11pm $20, Friday or Saturday 9am-11pm $45, Sunday 8am-6pm $25 (Children under 12 and active military are free)

LAS VEGAS: Life Is Beautiful Festival in Downtown Vegas

October will bring the Life Is Beautiful Festival to downtown Las Vegas. Taking over 15 blocks, this year’s festival features art, culture, music, and several extraordinary culinary events.

Over the course of two days, art, culture and musical events abound, and the musical lineup alone is downright stellar: The Killers, Kings of Leon, Imagine Dragons, Alabama Shakes, Beck, Portugal The Man, Passion Pit, and more (yes, more!). There will also be featured performances from several Cirque de Soleil shows, the Jabawockeez, Rock of Ages, and artists D*Face, Vhils, Zio Ziegler, Intersni Kaski and Alexis Diaz.

At the heart of the festival is a culinary village featuring some of the world’s best chefs and restaurants. Over 50 vendors will be offering gourmet food, all for a price tag of $10 or less. Check out the offerings from Hubert Keller, Cat Cora, Rick Moonen, Michael Mina, Tom Colicchio and more. The companion Alchemy Garden will be offering liquid refreshment to festival-goers. Featuring craft brews, top-notch wineries and spirit distillers, you can purchase a-la-carte libations and taste to your heart’s content! And for those you who are really into the food scene, there are special culinary events, such as a Flight Tasting, Grills & Guitars, a Culinary Crawl, and a limited seating charity dinner called “Take A Stand.”

Life Is Beautiful Festival
Where: Downtown Las Vegas
When: October 26 & 27
Cost: Two-day pass $159.50, special events separate, VIP, hotel & travel packages available here.


Las Vegas: Wine Amplified Festival at Mandalay Bay

wine red pouring copy

This weekend brings the 8th Annual Wine Amplified Festival to Mandalay Bay. This over-the-top event features over 50 wineries and 150 different wines, spans two days, and tickets include both wine tasting and entertainment.

Kicking the event off on Friday, September 6th is Bubbles and Chocolate, an exclusive champagne and dessert tasting, featuring Mandalay Bay Pastry Chef Christophe Feyt. Hosted by Moet & Chandon, and held at the Moorea Beach Club, festival attendees will indulge in decadent taste, wine, and musical treats, with a concert by Collective Soul and Vertical  Horizon.

On Saturday, the venue changes to the Mandalay Beach, where the wine will flow. Chardonnay, Chianti, Rose, Champagne, Syrah, and Cabernet from around the world will be served up along with $5 taste treats from Aureole, Border Grill, Mix, and StripSteak (VIPS will get a special menu from Rick Noonan and his newly opened Boiler Room). There will also be special performances on two stages from Gavin DeGraw, Austin Brown, Josh Krajciz, and Lady Reiko.

Wine Amplified Festival

Location: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

When: Friday September 6, Saturday September 7

Cost: Friday $55, Saturday $65 (plus tax and fees)