While watching from the safety of home can never compete with the experience of witnessing artists performing live alongside thousands of others, YouTube did a great job making the experience as interactive as possible. Viewers of the live broadcast were even offered different channels to flip between as bands competed for the attention of fans from different stages on the festival grounds.
Another plus, was the opportunity for viewers to see their favorite artists and groups play music just like nature intended: uncensored. Though television broadcast have to answer to the FCC for obscenity violations and the like, YouTube’s self-regulated community has no such restrictions. Also, since the concerts of Bonnaroo were being beamed out to the rest of the world live, crowds both at home and in person were able to witness other unpredictable music moments as they happened, surely a plus for the water-cooler crowd come Monday morning. Whether it was the surprise appearance of R&B artist D’Angelo giving his first public performance in 12 years or Alice Cooper trotting out a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” fans across the country could brag about seeing such events first.
Watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers tackle “By the Way” live at the 2012 Bonnaroo Music Festival here:
Still, a few points remain etched in the favor of viewing from home instead of in a hot, giant field alongside thousands of people who clearly weren’t showering every day. Air conditioning, regular attention to personal hygiene, and the ability to enjoy every moment while lazing around in your underwear. Though this was Bonnaroo after all, so you probably weren’t the only one who was stripped down to your skivvies.