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Tiny Desk Fest: How To Watch It Live

Watch live Oct. 28-31 to find out who is playing NPR's Tiny Desk Fest.
Watch live Oct. 28-31 to find out who is playing NPR's Tiny Desk Fest.

It's only natural to imagine conversations with your past selves; to warn them of bad choices you've made, or to blow their minds with unlikely facts about the present day. And though it's not the first thing you'd tell your 2007 self — it'd come sometime after "The star of TV's The Apprentice is now president of the United States" — you'd want to make room for the words, "Bob Boilen's desk is such a popular tourist destination that NPR sold tickets and people bought them."

The Tiny Desk has been a destination for bands since the spring of 2008, when an offhand quip at a Laura Gibson concert led to us booking musicians to perform in NPR Music's D.C. offices. About 900 artists have stopped by in the years since, from little-known niche discoveries to the likes of Adele, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, John Legend and the cast of Sesame Street.

So. About that whole "selling tickets" thing.

For the first time ever, we've officially opened the Tiny Desk to members of the public, as part of what we're calling the Tiny Desk Festival. For four straight evenings — Oct. 28-31 — we're hosting sold-out crowds (tickets for all four shows were gone in fewer than five minutes) and surprising fans with a different unannounced guest each night. The music begins at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.

The good news for you, dear reader, is that all Tiny Desk Fest performances will stream live on, and eventually be archived for posterity.

We hope you'll join us for our latest Tiny Desk experiment, which promises to be a warm and wonderful four-night feast of musical surprises. Don't disappoint your future self by missing it, OK? Here are all the details you'l need to watch Tiny Desk Fest live.

How to watch on

You can sign up for email reminders from the Tiny Desk Fest team each day of the festival here.

You can find links to each of the four night's Tiny Desk Fest concerts on our Tiny Desk Fest series page.

We'll update each Tiny Desk Fest page on the night of each show with the identity of that night's artist and any special guests. The concerts are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET.

How to watch on YouTube

All four nights of Tiny Desk Fest will be streaming live on NPR Music's YouTube channel. If you'd like to receive reminders when we turn on our live stream, please follow these steps:

If you're using a computer, visit and make sure you're logged into YouTube (you should see a picture in the upper right corner). Then, visit and click "Set Reminder" for each show. You'll be notified between 6:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET each night with a reminder to watch live.

If you'd rather use your YouTube mobile app, search for NPR Music and click on the NPR Music logo to visit our channel page. Under "Upcoming Live Streams" you should see four videos. Tap on the three dots to the right of each title and select "Set Reminder."

To ensure you see your YouTube notification, make sure that your YouTube settings are configured to allow for notifications to be sent to your iPhone or Android device. Click Settings on your phone, find YouTube in your list of apps, and tap Notifications. You should see an option called "Allow Notifications" — make sure that's turned on.

Then, open your YouTube app and tap your profile picture. From the "Account" menu, tap "Settings" and then "Notifications" (you may have to scroll down to see it). Toggle "Subscriptions" to the on position, then click on "Channel Settings" and tap the bell icon next to NPR Music and make sure you've selected the "All" option. If your bell next to NPR Music is grey (as opposed to white) and looks like it's ringing, then you're all set.

If you're among the 15 percent of our YouTube audience that watches Tiny Desks on their TVs, then you probably don't need instructions on how to do so. But if you have a device like Apple TV or Roku, or a Smart TV with a YouTube app, and you've never used it to watch Tiny Desks on your TV, open the YouTube app on your device and search for NPR Music. Select the NPR Music logo (you'll see our subscription count underneath it). That will take you to our channel page, and you should see our "Upcoming Live Streams" featured prominently.

How to watch on Twitter

Tiny Desk Fest will be streaming all four nights on NPR's Twitter feed. If you'd like to be notified when our live stream begins, here's how to make sure that happens:

On your iPhone or Android device, tap on Settings, then on Notifications and find Twitter in your list of apps. Tap on Twitter and make sure "Allow Notifications" is toggled to the on position.

Then, open your Twitter app and visit NPR's (@npr) profile. Follow NPR if you don't already and tap on the bell icon next to the follow button and select "All Tweets" or "Only Tweets with live video." You'll receive a notification on your phone when Tiny Desk Fest turns on its live stream at around 6:45 p.m. ET.

How to watch on Facebook

Tiny Desk Fest will be streaming all four nights on NPR's Facebook page. If you'd like to be notified when our live stream begins each night, follow these steps:

On your iPhone or Android device, tap on Settings, then on Notifications and find Twitter in your list of apps. Tap on Facebook and make sure "Allow Notifications" is toggled to the on position to receive a push notification when we activate the Tiny Desk Fest live stream at 6:45 p.m. ET each night.

Now don't close your Settings app just yet: If you'd prefer to receive a text or iMessage when we turn on the live stream, you can take the extra step of tapping "Facebook Notification Settings" at the bottom of your screen and selecting "Video" from the list of notification options. Under "Video," you should see options to be notified by Push, Email and SMS — choose the latter to receive a text message to the phone number associated with your Facebook account.

Then, open your Facebook app and search for NPR's page. Like and Follow the page (if you haven't done so already). Then, tap on the "Following" icon and make sure the "Get Notifications" toggle is in the on position. Then, tap "Edit Notification Settings" — if you've selected Standard or Highlights, you will be notified when Tiny Desk Fest activates our live stream.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson is a host, writer and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist and guest host on All Songs Considered. Thompson also co-hosts the daily NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created with NPR's Linda Holmes in 2010. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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