Name any concert you've been to and answer this question: Did you take a picture or video of it on your phone to capture the moment?
I'm gonna guess your answer is "yes."
Cell phone use at concerts could be in jeopardy because artists are fed up with the distraction of cell phones during shows, and also the threat of having material leaked on YouTube. According to USA TODAY, artists are asking their fans not to use phones and are contracting with Yondr, a company that supplies locked pouches that prevent members of an audience from using their phones.
Jack White is just one artist leading the no-cell phone policy at concerts. During his 2014 tour, he asked fans not to use phones. He told Rolling Stone, "The way (the audience reacts) tells me what to do next...and if they're not really there, I don't know what to do next." Alicia Keys and Guns N' Roses have also hired Yondr at shows.
White will be at the Armory in Minneapolis this August. If he's banned phones at his shows before, I'm sure he'll do it again.
So what is this locked pouch thing? I think it's genius, actually. I've had my phone locked in one of these at a comedy show in Denver. It's essentially a neoprene pouch that locks, making it impossible to use your phone. (See the video below for a demo.) You have it with you during the show, but you can't use it to take photos. In case of an emergency, I'm sure venues have their own policy in place to allow fans to unlock their phones in the lobby to take phone calls.
I think banning cell phones at shows is mutually beneficial for artists and fans. I feel it's best to live in the moment and take in the experience. Plus, it just looks dumb taking video of a show that everyone knows you'll never re-watch. (The audio is always terrible, anyway!)
Our Basilica Block Party is coming up soon, so now I'm sure you're wondering what the policy is for phones and photos. Go here for Basilica Block Party FAQs.