Should Phones Be Banned From Raves?
How many times have you attended a rave or any other music event, only to end up annoyed by bright phone screens in the first 10 minutes?
While some people feel like they want to capture every single moment of the concert, fearing they might forget about the experience, others find it incredibly frustrating. The DJs and artists performing on stage are not fans of phone-crowds either.
It is undoubtedly a big problem worth paying attention to. Some even say that a complete ban is the only solution.
Raving & Phones
The "phones at raves" issue has been actualized since 2015. Since then, we are still trying to figure out how to find the perfect balance between respecting those who don't like phones at raves and those who feel the need to take a photo or footage.
In 2016, the big Munich's club "Blitz", opened with a bang. Right off the bat, they made a strong statement about how important their visitors' live experience is to them. The club opened with the following announcement:
"We dream of creating a place where we can all dance together in an intimate, safe, and real environment and listen to music. For this reason, we decided to introduce a strict ban on phones from the dance floors."
Since then, many DJs, music artists, club owners, ravers, and psychologists have expressed their opinions on the matter. Unfortunately, we still seem to be far from the definite answer to the question "What's the right thing to do?"
In 2019, Annie Mac and The Warehouse Project founder Sacha Lord publicly expressed that they are against over-filming, explaining that "it kills the vibe".
Disturbance of the phone
It doesn't come as a surprise that artists don't enjoy being photographed and filmed by their audience during a long night of performing. Phones indeed feel like a wall between the musicians, who put their art out there, and their audience's eyes fixated on the screen instead of the stage.
The German DJ and producer Anja Schneider has openly stated that phones really bother her.
- Do I find myself playing to a forest of phones waving in the air? Of course, and for me, that's a problem because you can't see the people, you can't see the vibe. You can't see people's faces. - She said.
But, in order to get the full picture, in 2019, DJ Mag published survey results showing the British gig-going public's opinion on phones at raves.
"The wide majority of those surveyed — 70 percent — said they find it irritating when others take pictures or footage during a show. An even greater majority — 81 percent — said they understood why an artist might not like filming and photographing at the event. " - Stands in a DJ Mag article.
The story wouldn't be complete without experts' opinions, which can help us understand how this activity may negatively impact our experience and memory of the events.
According to Dr. Linda Henkel of Fairfield University in Connecticut, "you're less likely to remember whatever it is you're mindlessly taking photos of because of what she calls the "photo-taking-impairment effect."
It doesn't sound like a good thing at all. Yet, a stunning 49 percent of the surveyed people said that filming and photographing was an essential part of the live experience.
Discussions about this issue are continually going on online, in various chat-rooms and forums. These are just a couple of examples:
"I'm on both sides of the fence. On one hand, I absolutely hate people just sitting there holding their phone up and recording for minutes on end, not moving, bringing the energy down...On the other hand, I think it's totally my right to be able to snap a quick pic or 15-second clip. They're good memories, and short videos, especially, can bring me back to that set and make me smile a little, remembering the good time I had that night."
"I personally don't like using my phone at shows, but I'm not hating on others who do it cause it's them who provide me full sets on YouTube to listen to."
This only goes to show that a complete ban may not be the best idea just yet.
What is your opinion? Should phones get banned from raves?