Does people filming the entire concert really put your back up? Ryan McDonnell looks at the new trend of bands banning phones.
In a time when people look through a screen rather than the performer with a naked eye, Guns N’ Roses and The Lumineers reckon you ought to get a straight jacket for your phone.
Yondr, a company producing a pouch you must put your phone in at concerts and which doesn’t let you unlock it until you leave the main area of a venue, is stopping people filming and taking pictures at shows in the U.S. Alternatively, everyone could just stop using a smart phones for the entire show but you have a better chance of getting a piggy back off Enda Kenny and riding off into a low tax incentive sunset than that happening.
Guns N’ Roses, Donald Glover, Dave Chappelle, and The Lumineers have since hired Yondr for their shows. The Lumineers played Dublin recently but there was no sign of the pocket sized straight jacket. The Lumineers lead singer Wesley Schultz welcomes the idea and says in Npr.org’s article "If you can set (Yondr) up so that people can't get to their phones as easily or are deterred, people actually really welcome that," he said. "It's just such a strong force of habit in our lives right now."
Graham Dugoni, the founder of Yondr says “the pouch serves two purposes. An artist can try out new material without worrying about it being leaked. Fans will also realize that they actually enjoy a show more without constantly filming, texting and tweeting” according to a Washington Post article.
HamsandwicH’s lead singer, Niamh Farrell, thinks ‘this would be going a bit far to be honest'. "If you don't want people using cameras at your gigs then put up signs, if any of the crowd chooses to ignore it then it’s their problem. I don't think the answer is taking peoples phones off them for a whole gig." Farrell doesn’t believe ‘there's any problem with (being filmed at HamsandwicH shows). "I think it might be a problem for huge stadium filling bands if they are say, playing a new song and don't want any videos of it up online. But generally, I think there's absolutely no harm in people doing it, unless you are disrupting other people’s enjoyment of a gig. It's different being in a crowd if someone is standing in front of you videoing most of a gig."
A world where policing phones at concerts may not be the answer to a true concert experience but the danger of becoming the 500-second story snapchatter is highlighted. The simulated experience of watching a band through a phone is not as beneficial as being in the moment for the majority of a gig. "People need to realise for themselves that just experiencing the gig without a phone between them and the band on stage, is much more rewarding than a couple of bad quality videos the next day," says Farrell.