Over 10,000 people crowded into a square in central Bayreuth earlier today to watch a free transmission of Lohengrin, live from the Festspielhaus just up the road. A 180-square-foot video wall provided a crystal-clear picture for spectators, who came equipped with folding chairs, picnics and blankets - and umbrellas of course.
Images from nine remote cameras were complemented by close-ups pre-recorded during the July dress rehearsal. 86 speakers dotted around the square provided Festspielhaus-style surround sound.
Around 40,000 more people (including yours truly) watched the live webstream - pictures and sound were excellent, and Manuel Brug's perceptive interviews with the cast and production team filled the long intervals.
Those who watched the delayed live stream on the ARTE TV channel weren't so lucky. The picture broke up after 25 minutes and the broadcaster switched to an old Anna Netrebko documentary while they sorted things out. Oops.