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Forbidding smartphones at concerts


joelha
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It appears that Jack White, among other artists, has decided to prohibit smartphones at his concerts: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/25/jack-white-bans-phones-at-shows/

 

Because I could argue either side of this issue, I don't have super strong feelings in either direction.

 

But, when all is said and done, I have to default in favor of the audience experiencing the concert as they see fit.

 

As for the potential pirating issue, cellphone recorded concerts hardly offer redbook quality audio or commercial quality video, let alone anything better.

 

Please keep it civil. The topic is worth a good conversation.

 

Joel

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I was at a UB40 concert recently, and there were quite a few phones being waved about. Someone near me even seemed to be on a video call with a friend for a considerable time. All a bit silly, but I wasn't bothered by anyone's phone. I don't really care what people do as long as it doesn't detract from my experience.

 

The article talks about creating a "human experience,' but I suspect the real motives are somewhat different. By insisting that people only reshare official photos, he drives traffic to his pages, and this can be monetised. Always follow the money.

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My brother had center sixth row seats for a concert just before Christmas.  He streamed me some video from it.  It was okay, and just a way he could say "look at how good the seats are".  The video is too shaky and such to prevent me from viewing official videos.  In fact, like often happens, I went and looked at some after he sent those live ones to me.  If not for that I wouldn't have bothered. 

 

After a few minutes I texted him, "shut off the phone and enjoy your great seats.  The video quality stinks anyway".   I would think nearly all such videos are shown around to friends or even posted on social media for a short time afterward and not viewed again for the most part. 

 

If I were a performer, I wouldn't discourage the phones.  There is no such thing as bad publicity. 

 

Now depending upon the seats if everyone stands and holds up a phone blocking my view I wouldn't like it.  

 

And to tell you the truth either way, its a losing battle to try banning such things.  You either aren't going to manage it or if you put real effort and take a hard line you'll piss off your fans.  A no win situation.  

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I hope this doesn't fall astray of the intent of this thread.  You have to consider there might be a security issue being mitigated by allowing security an extra measure of discretion.  Taking smart phones away from live performances certainly doesn't detract from what is happening on stage.  Moreover every city and country present a new set of circumstances day of the concert.  Making a blanket policy is more fair than exacting a much higher level of scrutiny on the conduct of only some ticket holders.

 

I agree there is an element of monetization this policy reinforces.  In the hyper-sensitive arena of social media what was a non-issue leading up to or during an event can shortly become a career defining event.  Limiting the exposure to such risk has no downside to anyone on the business side of presenting these acts.  

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"Phones aren't the problem. It's the people that use them." ---NRA

 

Some will bristle at banning as a restriction of personal freedom. But would it do any good for Jack to politely request that people moderate their own phone behavior? Maybe put up some posters and make an announcement? 

 

There is a wider problem that this is a part of, perhaps a serious problem. For example: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/smarter-living/bad-text-posture-neckpain-mood.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

 

When I attended a Ravi Shankar concert in "72, the artist requested no cameras. I think this was largely honored. But that was Ravi Shanker. 

 

I see this as an experiment in progress. It is , at least, good to see the issue addressed and discussed. I don't see Jack White doing this for the $.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, rando said:

I hope this doesn't fall astray of the intent of this thread.  You have to consider there might be a security issue being mitigated by allowing security an extra measure of discretion.  Taking smart phones away from live performances certainly doesn't detract from what is happening on stage.  Moreover every city and country present a new set of circumstances day of the concert.  Making a blanket policy is more fair than exacting a much higher level of scrutiny on the conduct of only some ticket holders.

 

I agree there is an element of monetization this policy reinforces.  In the hyper-sensitive arena of social media what was a non-issue leading up to or during an event can shortly become a career defining event.  Limiting the exposure to such risk has no downside to anyone on the business side of presenting these acts.  

You mean like the country music artist back 15 years ago that came out for a live concert inebriated on drugs and alcohol.  Stumbled horribly thru half a song.  Fell off the stage.  Then cursed the audience for the boos before retreating to the dressing room without performing anymore.  That sort of thing instead of being reported on the news would be everywhere as video within minutes.  Come to think of it those videos on a phone do have some positives then.  

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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11 minutes ago, esldude said:

You mean like the country music artist back 15 years ago that came out for a live concert inebriated on drugs and alcohol.  Stumbled horribly thru half a song.  Fell off the stage.  Then cursed the audience for the boos before retreating to the dressing room without performing anymore.  That sort of thing instead of being reported on the news would be everywhere as video within minutes.  Come to think of it those videos on a phone do have some positives then.  

See also: wardrobe malfunction. Whether accidental or deliberate, artists obviously want to carefully manage how these events are depicted.

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I don't like antisocial phone use, but banning them is taking a sledgehammer to crack a peanut. I understand the frustration, but it's not life and death (in a concert situation) as I see it. 

Regards from Bill. 

Jriver, Windows 8.1, HP Pavilion G6 2215so Laptop, Dragonfly Black, Quad QCII Preamp, Quad FM 1 Radio, Quad II amp, Quad ESL Electrostatic speaker. 

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4 minutes ago, mansr said:

See also: wardrobe malfunction. Whether accidental or deliberate, artists obviously want to carefully manage how these events are depicted.

Hey Jim Morrison might be alive today if we had smartphones in Miami for the Doors concert.  The video could prove he didn't expose himself.  The legal battle over that started the downhill slide probably hastening or causing his eventual overdose.  

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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31 minutes ago, esldude said:

You mean like the country music artist back 15 years ago that came out for a live concert inebriated on drugs and alcohol.  Stumbled horribly thru half a song.  Fell off the stage.  Then cursed the audience for the boos before retreating to the dressing room without performing anymore.  That sort of thing instead of being reported on the news would be everywhere as video within minutes.  Come to think of it those videos on a phone do have some positives then.  

 

I very directly mean action/inaction by anyone acting in any professional capacity.  The musicians or their backup dancers acting poorly is all part of the highly charged environment.  Anything that can go wrong, might.

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The alternative is worse... if they can't wave their smartphones, people will have to go back to encore matches. An unacceptable risk, in my opinion.

"People hear what they see." - Doris Day

The forum would be a much better place if everyone were less convinced of how right they were.

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8 minutes ago, Don Hills said:

The alternative is worse... if they can't wave their smartphones, people will have to go back to encore matches. An unacceptable risk, in my opinion.

Oh they have an app for that.  Concert lighter app.  So you can recreate on the screen holding up your lighter during a concert. 

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.klawton.lighterapp&hl=en

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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6 minutes ago, mansr said:

At a rock concert, phones are probably the least disturbing element. People jumping around and shouting are far more distracting, but that's how it's supposed to be. Nobody in their right mind would pull out a phone at a classical or jazz (clubs excluded, and then they'd be discreet) performance.

 

Laughably classical institutions are trialing in concert smart phone apps, so hip among the elderly living fast and free with these smartphones that have an app for literally everything, to coerce the under 40's to attend in an environment they feel comfortable with.  Guess who shows up wearing headphones in casual clothes brandishing a cell phone apiece and full price concert tickets (the first ploy of the evening to hit a demographic age group being half off most seats in the stalls for youthful bodies)?

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4 minutes ago, rando said:

Laughably classical institutions are trialing in concert smart phone apps,

Thankfully, my local concert hall hasn't got that desperate. It's usually pretty well filled up anyway. The capacity being only 400 or so might help of course.

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5 hours ago, esldude said:

Oh they have an app for that.  Concert lighter app.  So you can recreate on the screen holding up your lighter during a concert. 

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.klawton.lighterapp&hl=en

 

I know. And when the phone is banned?

"People hear what they see." - Doris Day

The forum would be a much better place if everyone were less convinced of how right they were.

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If you take Jack White at his word, and presumably his people speak for him, this is his reason: "Like many artists, White is making the move because he's tired of audience members who spend their entire time recording the show or talking about it with friends. This should create a "100% human experience," his team said. He has previously stated that he lets the fans tell him what to do, and that's difficult when they're too busy live-tweeting each song."

If the issue was piracy or some fans blocking other fans' view of the concert with their phones, I might get the point.

But if the only issue is how the fans experience the concert, I'd prefer that be left to the fans. If I'm not bothering anyone else and decide I want to see portions of the concert through my smartphone, then for better or worse, that ought to be my choice.

 

And yes, I know it's his concert so he can set almost any terms he wants.

 

Joel

 

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I sure hope they start restricting cellphones at Movies, its like game central , bright screens everywhere its, like large lightning bugs not to mention the rude people talking on their cell phone. 

The Truth Is Out There

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The concerts I go to (jazz,classical at mostly small venues) they kindly request everyone turn off their phone. I can't remember anyone not complying. At some of the jazz shows they're many college kids from the university and they also comply with the request. 

The fact that he said a "100% human experience" makes me want to barf! What pretentious horseshit!

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