We’ve all been to shows where half the audience insists on watching the gig through their smartphones. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a little bit of video as some kind of souvenir, but even then you’re not in the moment. You’ve spent big money to be at the show. Why are you spending time recording lousy video and audio that you probably will never watch later?
Overlooking a sea of smartphones is annoying for the performers, too. Vocativ.com takes a look at how some artist handle these situations.
In 2005, Bono asked fans to take out their cellphones at a U2 concert and hold them up high. “Make this place a Christmas tree,” he instructed, likening phones to a “modern cigarette lighter…but far more powerful.” But just over a decade later, phones have changed and so have artists, with many viewing the ever-intrusive devices as a nuisance that detracts from the purity of the concert-going experience.
Take a recent Ellie Goulding show in Manchester. According to a fan who attended the show, after a lengthy performance, Goulding “asked everyone to put their phones away,” user Ollie Crook wrote on Reddit. “No phones for the last song. Just faces, hands and happiness. And if we stuck to the rule we may get an extra song.”
But the request was roundly ignored. “Three seconds into the song the arena lit up like a night sky with phone torches on recording,” he continued. “After the song she commented again. She’d like no phones and people just ignored her… people watched and recorded a three-hour show but couldn’t stop for three minutes.”