How to attend Trump’s inauguration if you don’t want to attend Trump’s inauguration

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir—which will perform at Trump’s inauguration—sings in Salt Lake City.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir—which will perform at Trump’s inauguration—sings in Salt Lake City.
Image: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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Can’t quite fit Donald Trump’s US presidential inauguration festivities in Washington into your plans this week? Boycotting it on purpose? Couldn’t find a dress before the DC shops all sold out?

Whatever your reason for skipping the inauguration in person—fear not. There are actually a myriad of ways to get almost the full experience of the affair, without having to squeeze yourself into the crowd on the National Mall.

1. Sample the music performances online

“We are not putting on Woodstock,” Trump spokesman Boris Epshteyn has said—defensively?—in response to criticism that the inauguration is somewhat lacking in A-list performers.

The lineup is certainly a departure from recent tradition. Big-name artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, and Shakira graced the stage at Barack Obama’s inaugurations; the musicians currently slated for Trump’s “GREAT SHOW” include a 16-year-old former talent show contestant, unhappy Radio City Rockettes, a handful of country stars, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and rock band 3 Doors Down, which had its last hit single in 2011. Get a feel for the music vibe by listening to the playlist below.

Trump’s official inauguration will be followed by a number of inaugural parties in the DC area, such as the All American Ball at the Hyatt Regency, host to The Reagan Years, a cover band that only performs songs from Ronald Reagan’s terms in office. You can blast their live performances from YouTube—or opt for a home solution and just karaoke your way through Reagan-era songs all night.

2. Watch any other Donald Trump speech

Trump’s inaugural speech, unlike the speeches of the presidents who came before him, is set to be less than a half hour long—limiting the number of surprising or novel things that he might say. Trump is also somewhat infamous for repeating himself.

So here’s a selection of the best or most frequent lines from past Trump speeches that come together to make up, more or less, what the president-elect is expected to say in his inaugural address.

3. Simulate the event with TV and alcohol…

If you’d really like to experience the president-elect’s inaugural address as it happens, you can tune into the livestream and replicate the fervor of the crowd with a few friends in your living room—and perhaps a good drinking game or two.

We recommend this one, crowdsourced from Reddit. But there are dozens out there.

4. … or virtual reality

Media company Gannett, which owns USA Today and over a hundred other publications, is offering “multi-platform virtual reality and 360-degree coverage” of Trump’s inauguration, via VR cameras provided by Nikon and positioned at the Capitol, the National Mall, and along the inaugural parade route. The livestream will be available in VR headsets via the YouTube app, and also in 360-degree format on YouTube on desktop and mobile (no headset required). It’s the perfect way to be immersed in the affair, while also having the option to instantly exit out of it, should you need.

5. Reminisce about older inaugurations instead

The performances were top-notch. The speeches were glorious. Why risk disappointment in the present when you can revel in the perfection of the past? A “greatest moments” clip of Trump’s weekend-long event is sure to surface soon after, anyway.