Tips for watching the Virtual Festival concerts

Attending a “virtual” Bach Festival is obviously going to be very different than our usual in-person experience, so we’ll be publishing some tips here intended to help everyone have the best possible experience. While you can easily access classical music videos on a mobile device (smart phone or tablet), using headphones/earphones or a Bluetooth speaker would be much better than the built-in speakers. Similarly, on a computer, it would be best to have good quality external speakers connected that have full fidelity (a subwoofer would be ideal for the low tones of a pipe organ). This page of tips is designed to help you watch the concerts on a “smart” TV, but not all TVs have high-fidelity speakers, so you’ll have to use your judgement about which audio/visual options to choose in your household.

Before the scheduled concert date and time, the YouTube links we send to our patrons are to “private” videos, so anyone trying to view them early will see “This is a private video. Please sign in…” or if signed into YouTube, just “Video unavailable. This video is private.” Each concert video will be switched from “private” to “unlisted” one hour before the scheduled concert start time in order to allow attendees to test their local smart TV configurations, streaming and audio. The videos will not be listed in the Arizona Bach Festival’s YouTube channel, because they’re only for viewing by Festival Pass holders. This makes them a little more difficult to access in the YouTube app on a smart TV, so keep reading for some options.

Once you start watching, feel free to take a “virtual intermission” (perhaps for a “health break”) by simply pausing the video. For those patrons joining us for the post-concert Zoom “Meet the Artists” sessions, we have built in some time in our schedule for this purpose. For example, the entire video for our first Concert (including introductions and a lecture before the performance) lasts a little over 1 hour and 53 minutes. If you start watching at 3, it would end at 4:53 without pausing, so we’re going to start our Zoom at 5:15 p.m. to allow for personal intermissions. You could also start watching before 3 if you’d like to leave more time for those breaks — it’s it to you!

Here’s an excellent tip from one of our patrons: if you have a laptop and an HDMI cable, you should be able to easily display the virtual concert on your TV by playing it from your laptop through HDMI.

We recommend that if you don’t already have a Google account/login, that you create one connected with your current email address (it doesn’t have to be a Gmail address). When you go to on your computer, if you see “SIGN IN” in the upper right corner, you might not have a Google login.

If you click on “SIGN IN,” you’ll see this screen, from which you can create an account.

To create a Google Account, fill in the boxes indicated below and click “Next

Proceed through the steps, log in, and you’ll be ready for a better YouTube experience, especially if you also sign into the YouTube app on your smart TV using the same address/password. Here’s the official help article about how to watch YouTube on your smart TV.

Once you have a Google account and are signed in, any videos you watch (or even start to watch but don’t finish) will be available in your “History” (found under “Library” on smart phones) and available in your YouTube “History” on your smart TV (if you sign into your Google account).

So, using this method, an hour before the virtual concert, click on the YouTube link we send you via email, watch for a few moments, and then stop. You should then be able to find that video in the “History” on your smart TV. Contact if you don’t have your link.

Another way of getting the right video to the YouTube app on your smart TV is called “Link with Wi-Fi” so here’s a graphic with the instructions (this may or may not be available on every TV:

Yet another way of getting the right video to the YouTube app on your smart TV is called “Link with TV code” so here’s a graphic with the instructions (this may or may not be available on every TV:

There are MANY different brands of smart TVs and many other streaming devices (Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, etc.) and even if you don’t have a manual for yours, it’s easy to search for helpful videos on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or other search engines. You might also go to and search for help with watching YouTube videos using your particular TV setup. Also, don’t be shy about reaching out to a family member or friend who has “geek skills” for a little assistance — they really enjoy helping!

We hope you enjoy the three excellent virtual concerts of our 2021 Festival, and after you watch any of them on YouTube, please consider subscribing to our channel (!