I've seen a lot of crazy busy activity over the years I have been coming to the show, but I don't think any of it compares to what I saw today. With about an hour to go until the start of the live TV broadcast, I got the chance to go into the TV production trailer to talk with Executive Producer Albert Spevak. My mission was to find out what it means to put on a live show like Farm Aid. Here's what I learned--it means you are far too busy to talk with a blogger about putting on a live show like Farm Aid. People were crammed shoulder to shoulder in there. Screens were lit up with many views of the show. Years ago at my day job, I had the chance to go inside the operations center of a wireless network (here in Boston, now that I think about it) where they managed the system during emergency events. They seemed slightly less busy than the crew in the TV trailer today.
Lucky for me, he was able to free up a few minutes to talk and he managed to share a lot in that short time. There are a lot of challenges broadcasting a show like this compared to other live concert events. For most shows, the main concern is the show itself but today they need to make sure viewers get the best music experience possible at home and also hear the important messages that Farm Aid has to deliver. That takes a lot of effort by the TV production team.
Fortunately, we have a great team pulling this together. In addition to Albert, Director Lawrence Jordan, and Producers Philip Hack and Robert Katz were responsible for the 20th Anniversary broadcast and bring that experience to making this show even better. Add on-air personalities like host Carson Daly, guest host Bob Costas, Robin Dorian and Budd Mishkin and you know we are in good hands.
If you don't have DIRECTV, then you should go out and get it and watch the show on DIRECTV's The 101 Network. But since it's probably too late for you to get an installer over today, you should learn to plan ahead better and watch the 7 hour live broadcast on the web at www.farmaid.org. DIRECTV will also rebroadcast the show 4 times, once as soon as the live show ends and another 3 times on Sunday. Farm Aid's website will have the show available forever (to FarmYard members)!