Every year Apple puts on the iTunes Festival in London, and many of the biggest names in music perform. One headliner and a lesser-known band play every day for the month of September. Tickets are free, but seating is extremely limited. Unless you’re a member of the press or happen to be best friends with a music executive’s daughter who loves Justin Timberlake, your chances of getting into a show are low.
But that’s ok, because over the past couple of years Apple has gotten really good at streaming the entire iTunes Festival for free—that’s right, no ads! For the whole month of September you can stream professionally shot shows in HD on just about any Apple device. It works great, and there are no strings attached. You can stream a show live or watch it
over and over later for the rest of the month.
This year’s festival kicked off with Lady Gaga on Sunday, and while her performance oddly isn’t available for streaming, yesterday’s Sigur Rós show is. The Lumineers performed today, and Paramore plays tomorrow. Great acts like Phoenix, Kings of Leon, Elton John, Vampire Weekend, Jack Johnson, Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, and Katy Perry are lined up through the rest of the month.
Over at Fortune, Jim Dalrymple says the iTunes Festival is “Apple’s way of saying that music still matters to them as much as it matters to us.” While that’s probably true to an extent, it’s also a way for Apple to build closer relationships with the music industry—and more importantly, the artists themselves—while delivering original content it has total control over.
You can watch the iTunes Festival in a number of ways: the iOS app, the Apple TV, or through iTunes on the desktop. It only happens once a year, so enjoy it while it lasts.