There are a lot of angles with which to discuss Coachella Live on Youtube. I tried to check it out periodically over the weekend because, to my knowledge, this amount of live coverage of a festival hasn’t been attempted until now. I saw a little bit of everything, and came away impressed in some areas and not so impressed in others.
Pharrell’s set is the reason these types of festivals should shoot to bring in huge pop acts. Guests like Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Busta Rhymes, and Nelly, and the way they were introduced, were an obvious but captivating move for the Pharrell set. Pharrell could have walked through the motions for his 45 minute set, but he decided to make an event out of it. Touche Pharrell.
I understand how impossible it must be to shoot good video in such a fluid setting as a festival, so I’ll give the videographers a half pass for poor lighting, etc. But, how have the sound people still not figured out how to effectively transition from one act to the next without holy hell breaking loose. The beginning of Lorde’s set was a nightmare, as you could only hear the pre-recorded parts.
The interviews with artists between sets were very casual and conversational. I heard some of an interview with Trombone Shorty that was really well done, as well as an interview with The Naked and Famous. I wish I would of caught the name of the interviewer, but he was more than serviceable. Applause for using the interviews instead of just having dead air.
Outdoor hip-hop concerts during the day just shouldn’t exist. Asap Ferg has no business performing midday outdoors for 15,000 people. If you are not a big time hip-hop guy with a huge produced show, you should probably stick to performing in clubs for no more than 2,000 people. Hip-hop is kind of like stand-up comedy in that way; only the very few should be allowed in arenas or stadiums.
The interface on the Youtube channel was a slam dunk. You could easily transition from stage to stage, and there was never dead air because of the aforementioned interviews. It even told you who was up next on each stage to plan your viewing experience. The design was clean and the overall experience very functional, so I applaud the guys who put this together.
It was cool to check in on the festival from time to time throughout the weekend. I don’t know anyone who would really want to soak in an entire festival by camping out on Youtube, but I’m sure there were a few out there who did just that. More than anything, this was probably just a publicity stunt that I hope sticks. I’m not sure it will, because it has to be sooooo expensive to put this together, but we will see. Bonnaroo live on Youtube? Let’s hope so!