Lovers & Friends Festival 2023, a one day ONLY festival, took place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Saturday, April 26.

An event line-up, gag worthy of social media buzz featured headliners including Missy Elliott; Usher, Mariah Carey and 50 Cent

Others notable performances included: Chris Brown, Nelly and Christina Aguilera

Las Vegas was a bit breezy in weather but that didn’t stop festival goers from seeing their favorite artists. Luckily the heat wasn’t prevalent so profusely sweating wasn’t on the festival bingo card.

A giant purple carpet lead Lovers & Friends festival goers into the venue to take photos under the fest’s self-titled sign. Food vendors lined the festival space with burgers, pizza, ramen and more delectable bites.

Other art features included a giant dome where people could take pics in front of it and a balloon-shaped heart. The lack of art was disappointing but may lend itself due to the spacing of the grounds.

VIP has their own entrances for stage viewing, eating and lounging. The four stages included: Lovers Stage, Friends Stage, Crunk Stage and Bling Stage

Shaded couches and lounge chairs filled the space. Though not everything was peaches from VIP whispers. VIP check-in was inconsistent causing crowding and wait times.

A common complaint amongst many VIP attendees is that the staging changed. In 2022, the stage featured runways and free roaming near stage fronts. This year was a bit different. Barricades separated stage access locking in crowds like sardines.

Merch tables offered bandanas and t-shirts with the official festival merch. No individual artist merch was sold. Overall, a line-up like Lovers & Friends is one in a lifetime and we are grateful to have it in our backyard. Every festival can improve in one way or another.

Read below on a few legendary music artists who stood out amongst their friends.

  • Mariah Carey

    The legend and icon Mariah Carey was twenty minutes late to set. She was dressed in a beautiful black dress with gold accents. Her setlist included a medley of her famous tracks including: “Fantasy”, “Obsessed” and “. The Lambily were in for a surprise when she brought out not just one but two surprised guests. Grammy Award winners, Boyz II Men and Miguel graced the stage with the singer. Boyz II Men collabed their 1995 track “One Sweet Day” which brought back all the feels. Miguel collabed “Beautiful” which came out in 2014. A gold dress change didn’t take place but announced on stage. Kind of awkward but it’s Mariah; anything can happen.

    Lovers & Friends Festival Lovers & Friends Festival

  • Missy Elliott

    Closing the night with a bang was Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott. Fans from all stages gathered the “Lovers” stage to end the night with the first female hip-hop artist in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. An alien invasion of Missy entered the screens announcing to fans to “be prepared to dance your a** off.”  Missy popped up in a bright red sparkly jumpsuit bringing the heat. She sang, “Get Ur Freak On”, “Work It” and “Lose Control.” From pyro to intricate dance routines fans were in for a treat with Ms. Elliott. As you know, Missy cares for her fans and surprised them with special guest, Monica for a lovely “So Gone” performance. Missy’s energy never dulled while keeping fans entertained the entire time. She had multiple outfit changes letting fans know she came to “Work It.”

    Lovers & Friends Festival Lovers & Friends Festival

  • Miguel

    Miguel came out on the “Lovers” stage with continues bops including TikTok song, “Sure Thing.” Fans were waving their fans simultaneously back and forth singing back every word. His outfit featured a simple yet glamourous white-gold ensemble with a white beaters, white-gold flare pants and chunky gold shoes. His jewelry ice on his wrists, neck and two sparkly safety pins in his left ear. He walked the stage engaging with fans far and wide. He sang, “Sky Walker”, “Getch Ya Hands Up” and “Adorn.” Fans needed help during his set which he stopped to get them help. He was very concerned. “It’s lovers & friends remember, we are setting the tone” he says.

    Lovers & Friends Festival Lovers & Friends Festival

  • 50 Cent

    New Yorker and Grammy Award winner, 50 Cent, knows how to have a good time. The crowd at Lovers & Friends felt his passion the second he stepped foot on stage wearing a giant iced out green G necklace, white graphic t, white snapback and tan camp pants. Vegas knows how to party. 50 Cent says, “Let’s turn this sh*t up.” The audience felt his rhythm and soul with each and every song including: “I Get Money” and “Just A Lil Bit.” He surprised fans with musical guest, BIA who sang “Whole Lotta Money.”

    50 Cent’s mic “malfunctioned” around 8 p.m. which didn’t stop the rapper. He continued his set until he was finished, why, because he’s 50 Cent. The fans continued to sing his lyrics despite the annoying interruptions. Overall, 50 Cent brought the party to Lovers & Friends.

     

    Lovers & Friends Festival Lovers & Friends Festival

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