Concerts, festivals, and raves continue to remain popular and relevant for music fans worldwide. At the same time, some artists start to prefer doing their job without being filmed by their own fans during the show. Despite the fact that there are very few acts that require this type of privacy, soon there will be very few performers who can tolerate the filming
Past: no cell phones anywhere
Thousands of years before our world became populated with an information-fueled society, Homo sapiens were divided into different branches of primitive tribes. One of the early distinctive features of most of those tribes became early forms of music within their cultural rituals. Centuries later, composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert played pivotal roles in establishing a new era of music would go on to change the world forever. It was a point in history when music became no longer just a tool for certain occasions, it became the main event capable of gathering people only for the sake of it. Audience appreciation for live music has grown significantly, thanks, in large part, to the overall quality in the craft over the centuries. The sounds of commercial music became a lot more melodic, memorable, narrative-based, and beautiful. It could now be played with piano or an entire orchestra. It was a lot different from the sounds of the war drums accompanied by the wind instruments.
People back then appreciated the spontaneity of live, melodic-based music being performed by trained professionals, but the experience was expensive very rare. By 1860, the very first audio recording was captured in time. Fast forward 160 years, and we find ourselves in the world of entertainment as we know it today.
Concerts provide a place which forcibly gathers and mixes two groups of people: those who want to stay in reality, and those who prefer to stay back and forth in the loop from reality to its virtual version. Many musicians became reasonably displeased with visitors who dedicate part of their attention to capturing the performance on their mobile devices for a number of reasons, and as a result, artists have begun to respond accordingly…
Present: no more cell phones at SOME places
Artists including Till Lindeman, Jack White, and Donald Glover prefer to take phone restriction to the highest level during their performances. In order to do so, they’ve turned to a company called YONDR. Since 2014, YONDR has produced lockable pouches designed specifically for restricting the access of phones in designated areas. The procedure is simple–A visitor gives his phone to a total stranger who puts it into a case, locks it and gives it back without dropping or damaging it. After the show, a visitor can get his case opened by the same person or his colleague.
A Berlin venue known as Berghain chooses another way of keeping audiences closer to an artist and further from their cellphones. owners of the German nightclub decided to do so by simply putting a sticker on the cameras of the visitors. That way they technically implement their “No-Cameras” policy instead of no-phone policy. The latter strategy is a bit more mindful of the audience’s safety in case of an emergency, as attendees can hold onto their phones without the need to interact with a stranger one more time on your way out.
In comparison with phone cases, sticker option is more liberal. There is, however, one more alternative to regulate this “concert privacy” issue, and it is based on trust. Bands like A Perfect Circle and Puscifer (projects of Maynard James Keenan) proved that none of these limitations are necessary for the show to go on without bright cameras in the air. Before the show, the announcer warns the audience about the no camera policy at least four times (twice before opening band and twice before the headliner). Of course, some information will leak (mostly from balconies or sideline seats), but so did other footage of performances back in the 1990s. The difference between today and the fan-shot videos from two decades ago is that no cellphones can be seen in the crowd. Due to the risk of being ejected by security, the venue is lightened with no phone lights when it gets dark. Over the last few years, venues around the world started to become darker and darker…
Future: no more cell phones in MOST places
Similar to the circular flow of popular music genres, concerts without the over-abundant use of phones will make a comeback at some point. Although this time it won’t be the decision of music fans. In one form or another, the concept of living in the moment during the concert will take over the masses because of these three reasons:
1. One of the main habits of the mobile information age is a strong desire to capture information as soon as one feels a need to document it. When people are being deprived of the ability to receive a certain pleasure, they tend to want the forbidden object or phenomenon a lot more than they did initially. Therefore, when bands will start to disallow filming, their audience’s desire to concentrate on their performance and music will increase significantly.
2. Artists will infect their colleagues with the desire to have a more engaged crowd.
3. None of the artists who decided to try no phone policy changed their minds after seeing the difference of the crowd’s attention. That is why numbers of bands or performers who stand for this way of doing things will not decrease.
Fans of the artist will have no other choice. They will either miss out on seeing their favorite bands and resort to hearing stories about how special the show was without phones, or they will play by the rules. When audiences gradually start to notice the betterment of live atmosphere, they will (hopefully) voluntarily give up their filming habits to better concentrate and appreciate the performance even more than previous generations did.
Of course, the technological level of society’s development will reach the point when it is capable to film without cameras or cell phones. Some artists will presumably continue searching for ways to keep their performances phone-free for the attendees who prefer a tech-free experience, and the growing need to have a completely present audience might even match the fans’ desires of capturing said performance.
[About Author: I am Zack Hargrove. You can find me on Twitter @zackhargrovejr. If you get anxiety during computer classes, feel free use my tips on programming help and get professional service on my website.]