iTunes Festival London 2013 for iPhone review

Since 2007, for 30 nights each September, Apple has hosted the iTunes Festival from London's iconic Roundhouse venue in Camden. While entrance is free, the lottery of winning tickets is stacked against music lovers hoping to see a favourite act, that they actually want to see, on a night that's suitable for travel. For those who have missed out, likely thousands, the options for watching have been limited. Tucked away on ITV2 and Channel 4, TV coverage of the iTunes Festival has been awful, a series of highlights punctuated by backstage antics from b-list presenters and c-list guests.  

iTunes Festival London 2013 

Thankfully, the latest iTunes Festival London 2013 4.1 app update adds video streaming, an option that is also available via iTunes and Apple TV. Even on the iPhone's modest screen, Sunday night's opening act Lady Gaga was a visual treat, with plenty of costume and wig changes and an array of on-stage backing singers, dancers, props and striking visuals. 

iTunes Festival London 2013 

While live, care was clearly taken to ensure camera angles didn't remain fixed on Lady Gaga alone, and the whole hour plus could clearly form the basis of a professional DVD, Blu-ray or download.  The performance was also free without interruption, no ad breaks or presenters, the only slight niggle being the delay waiting for Lady Gaga to take the stage, during which viewers were treated to a shot of the Roundhouse's rather round ceiling.  

iTunes Festival London 2013 

With Sigur Rós, Queens of the Stone Age, Phoenix, Kings of Leon, Elton John and Chic featuring Nile Rodgers all early highlights over coming nights Apple's app should see plenty of use throughout September. The app also includes news and profiles related to each act, photo galleries and a countdown each new headlining act.

OUR VERDICT

Live video streaming makes Apple's iTunes Festival London 2013 app an essential download for music lovers, for one month of the year at least. Also available via iTunes and Apple TV, it's a great way to enjoy a virtual front row view, and offers some compensation for those who missed out on the chance to win much sought after tickets.

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