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Gig-goers don’t like phone filming at shows (but like filming shows on their phones)

By | Published on Tuesday 4 December 2018

Phone at gig

A majority of gig-goers find it annoying when others use their mobile phones to take photos or record footage at a show and would like some action to be taken to minimise such activities. Although just under half say they have used their phone in this way at a live event in the last year, and a third reckon that taking snaps and clips on your phone is now an important part of the live music experience.

This is according to a survey of just over 1000 people who attended live ticketed events in the last year, commissioned by ticketing firm Eventbrite and conducted by ComRes.

Of those surveyed, 70% said it was irritating when others held their phones up in the air to film a gig and 69% agreed that some action should be taken to minimise such conduct. But 49% admitted they had taken photos or videos at an event they’d attended in the last year, and among 18-24 year olds that number rose to 62%. Despite that fact, 81% said they understood why an artist might not appreciate being videoed in this way.

Dr Lee Hadlington, an Associate Professor in Cyberpsychology at De Montfort University, reviewed the stats for Eventbrite and noted there might be a little hypocrisy going on in the way people view using phones to film at events. “You’ve got a paradox”, he said. “People are saying ‘it’s OK if I use my phone at an event – because I want to get this special photo – but when someone else does it, that’s really annoying'”.

Also commenting on the stats, Eventbrite’s Head Of Marketing, Katie McPhee, added: “Go to any stadium gig and you’ll be met with a forest of arms holding up mobiles and blocking lines of sight, so people behind feel irritated. Our report confirms that there is a general agreement between audiences, artists and promoters that using your phone during a live performance can be detrimental to the live experience – both for yourself and for those around you – and that it should be managed”.

Various ways in which mobile phone use could be ‘managed’ at shows were suggested in Eventbrite’s report, including the introduction of ‘no phone zones’, gentle nudges to make phones more discrete or audience spot-checks for over-filming.

Knocking the phone out of the offending gig-goer’s hand and then stamping on it was not suggested, though seems like a totally reasonable solution to me. Stamping on the phone I mean. And then maybe the gig-goer’s hand.



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