By: Jason R. Latham
Beth Balentine-Fuhrmann wants to see your pics and videos. As Life Is Beautiful’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, she has the front row seat to the immersive and over-the-top brand installations that festival goers use as backdrops to fill their feeds. Seeing the results sprinkled across social media is her favorite part of the job, she admits, one that signifies that she’s done hers.
“We are not a festival that has the luxury of saying, ‘Here’s your x-by-x footprint, see you at load-in,’” Balentine-Fuhrmann says of LIB’s approach to working with brand partners. Though the festival is spread out over 18 blocks of Downtown Las Vegas, it’s not a flat, open surface that some sponsors are accustomed to, and that means they have to get creative when it comes to space limitations, timing, and other factors.
Among the activations you’ll find at the 10th LIB: White Claw Shore Club, Pringles Playground, Casa Bacardi, JBL Earbud Experience, and the In-Car Concert by Dolby and Mercedes-Benz.
“Our most successful partnerships are those that take into account our uniqueness and help fill a void for the guest experience,” she says, adding that “authenticity” is essential. Any brand integration that doesn’t feel like part of the festival risks getting snubbed by passersby or, worse, getting mocked on social media.
“If engaging with the brand feels authentically like something you want to do while at the LIB, everyone wins,” Balentine-Fuhrmann says.
Five LIB Questions with Beth Balentine-Fuhrmann
OTS: What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen at Life Is Beautiful?
Beth Balentine-Fuhrmann: Green Day, 2021! I was so emotional at the end of the set! It exemplified why we all do what we do – to bring that human connection and positivity to our fans. Though my most memorable set personally was The Naked and Famous, 2016. The vibe of our 5-7 o’clock sets is always so magical! That year we introduced our 10-month-old daughter to festivals and that set held her attention the entire time. A parenting and professional moment colliding to remind me of how impactful live music can be.
OTS: Craziest Life is Beautiful Story?
Beth Balentine-Fuhrmann: Chasing down a rogue drone! My team spotted a drone that wasn’t one of ours, which is a huge safety and clearance risk – and something we take very seriously on the festival side. After quickly alerting our security team, we had to physically follow it around the site to maintain its location. I can only imagine what that must have looked like to fans with us dodging around buildings while looking up!
Which Artist Are You Most Excited to See This Year?
Beth Balentine-Fuhrmann: Nelly! How much fun will he be!? Also, Purple Disco Machine and Talk.
OTS: Which Experience Are You Most Excited to See This Year?
Beth Balentine-Fuhrmann: Really looking forward to the whimsy of the Pringles Playground. I think this will be a fun spot for fans and a new partner for us this year.
OTS: What’s Your No. 1 Tip for a First-Time Festival Goer?
Beth Balentine-Fuhrmann: Arrive with plenty of time to explore the culinary, art and experiences before you want to hit your favorite act! There is so much to see on our site. And remember to hydrate!!!!!