Increasing Number Of Performers Ban Use Of Smartphones And Tablets To Photograph And Film Events

Photo by Martin Fisch on Flickr

Photo by Martin Fisch on Flickr

After running a post detailing the ban of tablet photography at Manchester United home games last week, we asked our readers if we thought this might spark a trend and whether or not they thought more venues should and would pick up on the idea. Looking through the comments on that post it appears the consensus rules in favor of the ban and everyone seems to at least hope tablet photography gets banned in more places. If you are one of those people, I have some good news for you. It appears more and more musicians are starting to speak up against cell phone photography by pleading with concertgoers to leave their camera phones at home. Some are even banning such devices altogether.

In an article published today by The Gaurdian, singer Kate Bush has politely issued a request on her website asking fans planning on attending her upcoming sold out concert series to not participate in the event by filming or taking photos using iPhones and iPads, but rather by experiencing the moment on a more personal level.

“We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iphones, ipads or cameras. I know it’s a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.”

Bush isn’t the only performer who has publicly spoken out about the major distraction that is cell phone recording. Beyonce, Roger Daltrey, and Jack White have, among others have, have made it very clear about not wanting cell phones and tablets present during their performance. Indie rock band, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, perhaps, got the ball rolling in 2013 at a NYC performance, when Spin Magazine shared this photo of a sign that was posted upfront and center:


If all this is sounding like music to your ears, you may not want to start celebrating just yet. Apps like Vyclone, which openly promote the use of smartphones and tablets at events, are doing their best at encouraging concertgoers to capture the show to collaborate with and share the videos with other app users.

Meanwhile, in contrast to Manchester United’s ban on tablet photography, dutch footballers PSV Eindhoven’s stadium, Philips Stadion, is promoting free Wi-Fi to attendees of the games which has, to my delight, caused outrage among fans, many of whom cite it as a major distraction not just to those watching the event on a tiny screen, but also for the unfortunate chaps that are stuck behind them.

[ via The GaurdianGawker | Huffington Post UK | photo by Martin Fisch ]

  • Mary Oreo

    I totally agree with them.

  • Randy Gentry

    I’ve noticed a some small venues the artist turns the lights down so low it’s impossible to get anything, even with a real camera.

  • Rick

    Kate Bush is still out there?

    • Tiffany Mueller

      lol, apparently she is making a comeback some 35 years later…

  • Wil Fry

    I remember when people used to smoke in movie theaters. They grumbled when it was banned, despite how much better the experience became for everyone else. This is kind of like that, just with less of the cancer issue and more of a distraction issue.

    • Tiffany Mueller

      Well said, Wil :)

    • vincent-b

      I remember when not so long ago concerts were a fraction of the price they are now, the experience was really much better, I could go to 4 times more concerts. As opposed I am to the smartphones (and a ban could even prevent myself to mess with one during a concert, I concede), I’m not a big fan of this ban. I’d like to be able to ban super expensive concerts. Not making fortunes anymore by selling records is not a reason to stay greedy and still want to earn fortunes, whatever the cost will be for shows. 55 to 150 pounds for Kate Bush at the Apollo. Yeah, it’s the price of what was a festival pre-napster.

      So I totally understand this ban but it’s an occasion for me to say people pay so much let them fucking do what they want. Nothing to do with the cigarettes that was bad for others health and slowly destroying the venues themselves.

      • John C

        You can often buy legit concert videos for a more reasonable price and get professional quality video and sound. This is not the case for all concerts of course, but when possible it beats low quality sound from a tablet or phone. Further if I paid $100 for my ticket I really don’t feel I should have a tablet or phone blocking the view. And as always if it’s not worth the price, don’t go.

  • Martin Walker

    then the audience should not go. Or boo them off stage. How they gonna stop people taking phones in?

  • Mensch

    Although I respect the aim to stop filming with tablets it is in general not a fight against a technical gadget but a fight against stupidity and disrespect! So therefore you should not ban gadgets but disrespect.
    And as in many cases the price of this stupid measure is not paid by the real jerks but by the people who have a legitime and intelligent reason to use a tablet at such a venue. They are criminalized and are stuck under general suspicion. Although I do not know any intelligent reason for a tablet at a concert, there are many for a sports event. Looking for additional infos and statistics about the players and other (similar) matches for example. Or blogging. Just because I wont do this doesn’t mean that everyone else has no right to do it – unless it could harm me (like smoking for example).
    And in the case of ManU they port it as a “security measure”. Are they aftraid that people could do sword fighting with tablets or what?

    • Walien

      What could be a legitime and intelligent reason to use a tablet at such a venue ?

  • Joe Spowal Jr.

    GOOD!!!!…next up, ban ALL cameras EXCEPT for the credentialed professional photographers that have went through the proper channels to get the credentials….

  • Eric Jaakkola

    Good luck with that.

  • Frank

    Are we using “tablets” as a term for larger smartphones? I couldn’t really imagine people taking a big ol’ 10-inch iPad, or God forbid, a Windows Surface with them to a concert… where would they put it!?

    To be honest, I don’t have any problem with people taking pictures with their phones; the key is moderation. If you are taking videos (in portrait mode, because that’s what people do) of the entire set list, then yeah, you need to knock it off. Otherwise, if someone wants to snap a few pictures to remember the occasion instead of buying a $40 t-shirt, so be it. In the three seconds that they have their screen in front of my face, I doubt I’m going to miss the moment where the lead singer winks at me and mouths my name.

    Plus, it’s not like concerts are the epitome of crowd etiquette… there’s still the matter of “Nature’s Tablet”, aka the 6’6 guy that’s standing right in front of you for half the night. If concerts were truly all about respecting your fellow man, then we would all be seated from shortest-to-tallest, and the drunks would be corralled off into their own little pen.

  • CraigI

    There used to be lighters. Now there are phones. The bands are blowing it if they ban the crappy cameras: they get free social media mentions and hits and lose nothing intrinsically valuable, as most of the images captured are pure crap. (At least for now…)