Bummeroo, the Online Music Festival, Is Back

Better than standing next to a rich girl on molly in a mud pit.
Better than standing next to a rich girl on molly in a mud pit.
Isa Jones

Bummeroo, the online-only music festival created by David Castillo of Pizza Time and Panaderia, is back for its second year on Youtube, and is appropriately titled, "BUMMEROO 2."

Bummeroo 2, which will hit the interwebs on December 22, was originally conceived as an all-day real-world music festival at Denver’s Rhinoceropolis.

“That (the Rhino music festival) never happened...I was like, ‘Oh, I guess if everyone still emails me their sets we can do it online,’” Castillo says. “Originally it was going to be hanging out on Rhino, like a Friendsgiving almost, everybody come, bring board games, whatever. Then it turned into an online festival.”

The off-hand decision to have bands send Castillo digital sets turned into a 52 band virtual festival with acts from all over Denver, the country, and a few beyond.

This year, Bummeroo will be bigger. There are currently 80-plus bands scheduled to “play,” many from Denver. But as Castillo has grown as a musician, he’s also gained many more connections, so this year’s lineup is more geographically diverse.

“There’s a handful of bands from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Hinds from Spain is supposed to send a set in,” Castillo says. “There’s a band from Japan, and several bands from Australia. It’s cool there’s bands from all over the world this time.”

If you’re new to the Internet festival circuit (of which there is just the one, Bummeroo), here is how it works: Starting at 12:01 a.m. on December 22, Castillo, from his room in Olympia, Washington, will start uploading videos bands have sent him. Once they hit Youtube, you can click the link for free and watch. You get to watch a band from the other side of the world play a unique set from the comfort of your couch or your bed or your office cubicle. You can watch as soon as Castillo starts uploading sets, or six months from now. You can watch just one set or all of them or watch them all backwards 27 times. It doesn’t matter—Bummeroo is there for you.

“It’s getting to see bands I like, but you get to see them in a very unique situation,” Castillo says. “There’s all kinds of videos on Youtube, most embarrassing, of people playing cover songs in their room. Now you get to watch bands play their songs in their room or a different situation then you would normally see them in.”

Castillo says he loves the creativity that comes from bands uploading a ten-minute set with absolutely no restrictions.

While the name is of course a play on the famous Bonnaroo festival, Castillo isn’t anti-festival; he just likes creating another option.

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“I play festivals and attend festivals,” Castillo says. “But I always find myself not really enjoying it. I’m always thinking, ‘I wish it wasn’t a million degrees out and this person wasn’t blocking my view.’ This is kind of a reaction to that, the entire festival experience.”

In recent years festivals have grown to be a staple of the summer, but for some, having to spend a lot of money to stand out in the heat with thousands of others, paying a fortune on food a beer, and trying catch a glimpse of your favorite band from a football field away while also complaining you're missing that other band you love that's playing at the same time is just not fun.

If that’s you, there’s always Bummeroo.

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