Glance over the lineup for Life is Beautiful, and Kacey Musgraves’ name immediately stands out. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter from Texas is the only country act on the bill, an unlikely booking for the indie-heavy festival. But the artist behind hits like “Merry Go ’Round” and “Follow Your Arrow” is a refreshingly progressive voice in country music, and she’s dedicated to reaching out to anyone who might enjoy her clever, catchy, well-crafted songs, no matter the genre. She spoke to Las Vegas Magazine’s Josh Bell ahead of her appearance at the downtown festival on Oct. 26.

As the only country artist playing Life is Beautiful, do you look at that as a challenge?

I take it as a major compliment. My goal from the beginning was just to make good music, although my heart is with country music—I love country music with a passion, and I think I’m definitely a country artist. But above that, I love all different kinds of music, so I wanted to be the kind of person that could play Bonnaroo or Life is Beautiful and then turn around and play the Grand Ole Opry, and it makes total sense.

Do you take a different approach to playing for an audience at a festival like Life is Beautiful versus playing for a country audience?

I don’t have a different approach. I think it’s cool that we’ve been able to kind of do our thing amongst a bunch of different genres. I just got off tour with Katy Perry, and right before that I was on tour with Willie Nelson, and we did the exact same thing. It’s just kind of cool that it’s working in those environments.

At big festivals like this, do you get a chance to interact with other artists and see them perform?

Sometimes. The days get pretty busy, depending on where we’re coming from and where we’re going directly after. Hopefully I’ll have time. It’s inspiring for me to get out and just see what other people do.

What other acts are you looking forward to at Life is Beautiful?

Lionel Richie—he’s a friggin’ legend. I really do love the Foo Fighters. Outkast is great. Skrillex is cool for a whole different reason, different vibe. Girl Talk is cool. Matt and Kim are great. There’s a lot of people that I haven’t heard of, too. This’ll be fun. It’s always great to see music you’ve never heard of.

When you’ve been in Las Vegas for events in the past, have you had a chance to explore the city at all?

Unfortunately, whenever I’m on tour, it’s kind of in and out. I’m always left wanting more out of the city, because I just love getting to know what makes that city its thing. I’ve been to Vegas enough times that I feel I kind of get the gist of it, but I know that I’m missing some probably really cool stuff outside of the Strip that would be really fun to see. I love hiking and nature. I just love the desert, too. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get to get out there and see it.

Kacey Musgraves performs on Oct. 26, the third and final day of the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas. For single-day and weekend passes, visit