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YouTube returns to rock out in Coachella this weekend

Like last year, YouTube will live-stream the giant music festival. You can choose from three channels, and (probably) see the headliners, all without bathroom lines.

A moment from the Arcade Fire performance at Coachella last year, as streamed by YouTube. This year, YouTube will once again stream three channels of live music from the giant festival.
Screenshot by CNET

Get ready to rock.

Starting this afternoon, YouTube will be live-streaming the huge Coachella music festival, and that means you can tune in to watch three days of some of the best names in the music world.

Like last year, YouTube is providing three channels, meaning that at any given time, you can choose from artists playing on three different stages. Altogether, that means you'll be able to see more than 60 acts do their thing, including The Black Keys, Mazzy Star, Madness, Jimmy Cliff, Squeeze, Gotye, and many others.

Last year, I wrote that YouTube's Coachella live coverage--what with its consistent HD-quality stream, low-lag, and unobtrusive advertising--was going to change the world of music. That was because it represented a paradigm shift in how music can be presented live on the Internet, how fans can interact with it, how bands can benefit, and how advertisers can score big kudos. In other words, it was a win-win-win-win. Here's hoping that this year's implementation goes off just as smoothly.

If you look through the list of bands that will be live-streamed, the biggest names of all, Radiohead (Saturday night's headliner) and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog (Sunday's headliner) are missing. But while I can't promise that you'll be able to see them without an actual Coachella ticket, my advice is to fret not. That's because the live-streaming schedule has one TBA for both Saturday and Sunday nights. And last year, at least one of those TBAs ended up being Kanye West, the Sunday night headliner.

So, get ready for three days of great, nonstop music. If you're at Coachella, the rest of us are a little envious, we'll admit. But then again, we don't need sunscreen, huge amounts of water, or the patience to wait in crazy bathroom lines.