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Phone usage at concerts: Should cellphones be banned?

Lately, I've been seeing arguments about musicians prohibiting attendees to take photos or even videos on their phones during their set, stating that it ruins the moment and you don't get the full experience of the show because you are glued to a screen. So lets talk about it!

When I go to shows, I am guilty of taking my phone out to record a show, but, at the same time, when I do record, I try my best to not be in the way of other attendees trying to enjoy the show themselves. I usually hide in the corner or keep my phone at eye level and just zoom in, so the person behind me is not seeing the set through my phone. I also keep my brightness on my phone very low to the point I can't even see what I am recording. I'm a very short person, so when a tall person in front of me takes their phone out and starts recording, I do get annoyed because you are already 6'1 and placing the phone higher makes it even more difficult to enjoy the show.

At the same time, they are capturing a moment they would want to look back at and that's why I don't really mind when people use their phones. Sometimes people are recording videos for friends that can't make it to the show and they send updates throughout the night, which is an amazing thing because I know I told some of my friends before to record a set for me. The only thing that really irks me at a show is TALKING and people texting on their phone with the brightness to the max. I remember I recently photographed Periphery and when Jake opened the show, EVERYONE kept talking and their voices overpowered the electronic music. It was very sad and it made me angry because how are you going to disrespect a musician like that? I feel like talking is more disrespectful than using a cellphone, honestly. There's a difference in singing along with the musicians, but to have side conversations and distracting everyone around you; now that's RUDE!

I do understand where musicians are coming from though because what happens if the musician falls on stage or something happens that's embarrassing; guess what? That moment is captured by hundreds of people and, an hour later, it becomes a viral meme. Also, when it comes to female artists, some attendees don't have respect because I've seen countless videos and photos of female artists wearing revealing clothing and people are posting unflattering photos. I saw one photo of a recent musician on Instagram and the person literally posted a photo up the woman's skirt. Women already have a difficult time in this industry and when someone disrespects them like that, of course, I would understand prohibited phone usage.

Here are some musicians that, at some point, banned or stated they don't like cellphone usage during their performances; Beyonce, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Bruno Mars and many more! I also talked to countless people about their opinions as well! Here are some comments I received on Facebook:

  1. I have to record songs or I forget them due to my brain fog issues and memory loss. But I also sit on my phone a lot because I have severe anxiety. I also don’t sit in the crowd so I’m not bothering anyone

  2. I think at certain moments it’s ok but for the most part put them away and enjoy the show. Be in the moment. I notice shows that designate a moment at the beginning middle and end for phones works best. Ya don’t pull them out during a movie in the theater. Same here.

  3. I really don’t mind! As long as you’re being respectful that’s really all that matters. Everyone enjoys things in different ways

  4. I personally stay off my phone at events except for a short picture or video. I like to live in the moment and feel that trying to capture it is less authentic. However i do understand sometimes short people get in a bad spot and can't see and actually watch the show through their phones as a periscope almost. And in that case I can't really blame them. Because we all know how hard it can be to move around a show.

  5. I know it's a cool thing to be able to capture moments and be able to relive it, but I'd prefer for someone to be in the moment of the concert and enjoy the moment as opposed to through a lens and not feel the energy of the room

I also spoke to one of my musician friends in the scene and they stated: "Honestly; I'm in the hardcore scene so its VERY hard for ANYONE to record a show because people are way too busy moshing. We hire photographer's for a reason. We will get photos from THEM. We don't want to see photos from crowd. We want the people in the crowd to be INVOLVED and having a good time and not be in the way of those having a good time because we did one time have an incident when someone was recording with their flash on and we told them to turn it off and they didn't want to listen. They literally were in front and blinded all of us. And guess what happened? Someone kicked that person's phone right out of their hands and told them to get the f*** out if they don't want to listen. I understand people want "memories" , but true memories come from staying engaged during the set. Not be staring at a screen"

What's your opinion on cellphone usage at concerts? We are all ears and would love to hear everyone's opinion below! Everyone's opinion matters and is valid!

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