- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A federal judge in Las Vegas has dismissed a lawsuit by a downtown church and pastors upset about noise and street closures from the sprawling Life is Beautiful arts and music festival, attorneys on both sides said.

A written order was expected Friday after U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon declined from the bench on Thursday to stop the event, scheduled Sept. 25-27, or order it to turn down the music, attorney Allen Lichtenstein said.

Lichtenstein, who represents Amistad Christiana Church and pastors Joel Menchaca and Joelda May, promised to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

“It’s not just the church, but people can’t get to their apartments and homes whose days will be disrupted,” he said.

Attorney Timothy Liam Epstein, representing Life is Beautiful and partners, credited the event with helping to revive run-down areas east of the Fremont Street Experience casino and pedestrian mall.

“We were certainly disappointed to see a neighbor take its dispute to court, but the judge came to the correct decision here,” Epstein said.

The festival, in its third year, is due to feature more than 20 performers and bands including headliners Stevie Wonder, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar handled by Electric Daisy Carnival promoter Insomniac.

It also features art installations, food and conference-style workshops. Tickets range from $115 to $595. Organizers say it draws about 40,000 people.

The complaint accused the city of letting the festival violate noise ordinances and trample neighbors’ freedom of religion and free speech rights. The pastors have complained since the first festival in 2013 that road closures and barricades prevent parishioners from getting to the church at Stewart Avenue and 9th Street.

The judge declined to issue an order to prevent loud music during Saturday and Sunday services at Amistad Christiana Church, and dismissed the lawsuit because he said festival organizers weren’t acting under the color of state law, Lichtenstein said.

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