Jack White Among Artists Asking Fans To Put Phones Down

You spend your hard-earned money on a ticket to see your favourite band or artist perform live; you enter the date in your calendar and count the days down; and, finally, you go to the concert venue and eagerly wait for them to take the stage.

Then, you choose to watch most of the show on your mobile device’s screen. Or worse, you block the view of the person behind you.

The phenomenon of going to a live concert only to experience it via video is being addressed by an increasing number of artists – including Jack White, Alicia Keys and Stone Temple Pilots.

“We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON,” read a statement from tour managers for White, who has enlisted a company called Yondr to lock up fans’ phones in pouches on his upcoming tour.

Other acts are simply appealing to fans to keep their devices off. 

During her tour, Adele made headlines when she scolded a camera-clutching fan: “Could you stop filming me with that video camera? Because I’m really here in real life, you can enjoy it in real life rather than through your camera.

"This isn’t a DVD, this is a real show."

At a Slipknot show in 2016, Corey Taylor slapped a phone out of a fan’s hands. He later tweeted: “If you’re gonna text, stay home.”

At live shows by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, signs read: “Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera. Put that s*** away as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian.”

The Lumineers singer Wesley Schultz often stops their hit “Ho Hey” to remind the audience “that it’s important we connect with you because that’s why we all came here.” The band has also used Yondr.

Bonnie Raitt has complained that fans holding up phones is “distracting” and makes it “hard for me to connect emotionally.”

Roy Trakin of Grammy.com wrote: "Holding up an iPhone or Android at a concert is a way of putting an artificial distance between the observer and the observed, an intermediation that seemingly goes against the very spirit of the longed-for spontaneity of the rock and roll, EDM, pop, or hip-hop experience."

He reported last year that Apple is developing technology that would allow concert promoters to disable the recording functions on iPhones.

At debate.org, the vast majority of respondents said cell phones and cameras should be banned at concerts. “It takes the personal experience out of the concert for you and those seated behind you,” one person wrote.

Opined another: “Cell phone use at concerts is annoying, selfish, and rude.”

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