Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Article: Artists to Fans: Put Your Phones Away!

"The last thing Jack White wants to see, when he's standing onstage, is a sea of fans more involved with their phones than the music. So after pleading with fans not to use smartphones at earlier shows, he's going hardcore for his sold-out spring tour – hiring Yondr, a tech company, to force attendees to lock their phones in pouches. "The way they react tells me what to do next," White tells Rolling Stone. "And if they're not really there, I don't know what to do next." Adds his manager, Ian Montone, who also manages the like-minded LCD Soundsystem: "No one wants to be standing behind 1,000 phones filming the entire show."

It seems as if some artists are banding together to support this initiative, and are focusing on this Yondr company.  They’re the likes of Jack White and Guns & Roses (of course), but also Bonnie Raitt & Alicia Keys.  I’m of two minds on this, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I see people carelessly (and frivolously) pull out their phones almost as reactionary as hollering, but then those recordings may never even be seen/used again.  Also, much of what I see people recording (because I’m forced to standing behind them), is terrible quality anyway.  It’s frustrating.

But then as someone who records shows for the purposes of this blog, it’s hard for me to be too critical.  I also think there needs to be an understanding that times are changing and sometimes you can’t stop the tide.  As someone who’s involved in archives, and looking forward to managing born-digital archives, this creates a whole new ocean of content for future researchers to experience and study our society engaged technology in this early, tumultuous time - as we figure out how to manage this new power.

I once heard someone describe our acclimation to this rapidly accessible technology as akin to just sprouting a 3rd leg.  We’re lumbering around, knocking into each other and trying to figure out how to properly use this new limb.  I believe that eventually things will smooth out and we’ll (hopefully) realize how to manage this new appendage.


"It feels weird at first, but once you immerse yourself, it becomes a unique kind of concert," adds Jon Lieberberg, manager of Haim, which has used Yondr. "It's almost like a social experiment."

Article: Artists to Fans: Put Your Phones Away!

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