While the West Coast may seem worlds away from deep in the heart of San Antonio, Texas, Drum Corps International's Season Pass members felt the heat Saturday night after experiencing an interruption of the live video stream from the DCI Southwestern Championship. Interestingly, the video stream loss came as a result of record breaking temperatures across California. The Los Angeles Times estimated that 175,000 homes and businesses lost electricity over the weekend in the Los Angeles area as a result of the heat. Among those business affected was Drum Corps International's Los Angeles-based streaming video provider, VitalStream, whose servers went down from approximately 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Outages were widespread and even the popular social networking Web site, MySpace, experienced a complete site shutdown for several hours as well. "We were as surprised to see that we lost the stream as I'm sure all of the Season Pass members were," said Ricky Fritzsching, DCI's senior Web producer. "Right away we were on the phone with VitalStream to try to figure out what was going on. After reaching the company and finding out about the power outage, we came to the realization that there was little we could do at that moment." More than a thousand Season Pass members watching the live video stream from San Antonio lost the feed after Spirit from JSU performed at the start of the evening. "It was pretty amazing to see the DCI.org Web crew go to work after the stream went out," said DCI broadcaster Steve Rondinaro who at the moment had been mid-interview with DCI Hall of Fame member Michael Cesario. "Immediately following the outage, the crew was working on a contingency plan to try to restore the stream off of DCI's own Web servers." Before that contingency plan could be enacted, VitalStream returned service, in time for Season Pass members to watch the last four performing corps starting with Phantom Regiment. "It was unfortunate the way this played out on Saturday evening since the San Antonio afternoon show had been our most successful streamed event to date. Ever since our first test in June from Lisle, Ill., we have been continually working to refine our streaming service to bring those fans who can't attend an event in person into the stadium," said Fritzsching. The next DCI Season Pass live streaming event will be on Saturday, July 29, from the Coltrin & Associates DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta, Ga.
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