Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

#Couchella; Television All the Fun of Glastonbury without Even a Splash of Mud -- Jimi Famurewa Heralds the Dawn of the Living-Room Tech Festival

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

#Couchella; Television All the Fun of Glastonbury without Even a Splash of Mud -- Jimi Famurewa Heralds the Dawn of the Living-Room Tech Festival

Article excerpt

Byline: Jimi Famurewa

NEVER mind the pop star choppering in from an adjacent farmhouse hotel or the squadron of YouTubers flashing their AAA laminates in the VIP area -- no festival tribe is smugger than those watching from home.

Yes, being able to say you were in the crowd when Skepta lay waste to Worthy Farm is something to be prized. But, equally, so is a bottomless G&T in a proper glass, indoor plumbing and the ability to endlessly lord it over the rainsoaked on social media. However, even though bleak weather reports from Somerset indicate a banner year for sofabound festival schadenfreude, the singular pleasure of #Glastontelly - or #Couchella, if you prefer - is under threat. Last week the BBC announced it would be broadcasting fewer hours of Glastonbury 2016 (which officially kicks off tomorrow on its TV channels).

The lower figure -- down to 25 hours from around 30 last year -- is because BBC Three has been onlineonly since February but, nonetheless, slimmed-down coverage seems like a blow for the armchair caner.

Thankfully, as ever, tech is there to help. From streamed performances and dedicated social media channels to home audio and viewing essentials, there have never been more ways for the mud-phobic or babysitterless to get the best out of the big festivals. Snapchat flower crowns at the ready -- here's how to bring all the fun into your front room.

Live the stream While a large portion of any Glastonbury reveller's weekend will be spent schlepping across the expanse of Worthy Farm (or missing A Big Moment because they're hurdling drug casualties in the Healing Fields) those on the sofa can hop around at the push of a button.

The Beeb's TV coverage from Pilton may have taken a hit but there will be live streams from six stages and 120 performances available on demand via the Glastonbury website (bbc.co.uk/glastonbury), iPlayer and the newly launched BBC Music app (free, bbc.co.uk/music).

But who wants to invite friends to huddle around a tablet? Use Apple TV (PS59, apple.com/uk/tv) or Google's Chromecast (PS30, google.com/chromecast) to beam the big headliners onto your TV. Or better yet, splash out on tablet-compatible pocket projector the Philips Picopix (from PS211, amazon.co.uk) for an authentic jumbotron experience.

Sound investments Complaining about inadequate audio is a modern festival tradition you shouldn't bring home -- beef up the puny sound that's the unavoidable side effect of a flatscreen TV with a soundbar. The excellently named Libratone Diva -- a crisp, bluetooth and wi-fi-connected behemoth that Continued on Page 34 comes in an array of bright woolly jackets -- is a pricey but striking option (PS649, amazon.co.uk) fit to accompany the moment when, slightly pissed, you find yourself blubbing through Adele. …

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