Should Smartphones Be Banned At Concerts?

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In light of the incidents that happened at last week’s A Perfect Circle concert, the band have a strict policy of no phones being brought to their shows. However, some fans didn’t adhere to these rules, resulting in security kicking them out of the venue and cutting their concert experience short. While we’re all for the ‘no phones’ policy, it’s become apparent that the younger generations of concertgoers are snapchatting and uploading concert videos and pictures to either their Instagram or Snapchat stories.

It’s no surprise we’re all engrossed in everything digital. Whether it’s on social media or technology, our smartphones basically carry our lives. We put in our schedules, we take down notes and we surf the web and check our emails on them. Sometimes, we like taking the occasional food snapshot too. But is it really necessary to ban phones at concerts at a time where everything digital is thriving? We give you the pros and cons.


Capturing The Moment

I have an Instagram account and I like keeping my followers updated on what I’m doing. Whether I’m eating out at a new food place or exploring a different city, taking photos is what I love to do. I like capturing the moment when I’m at a live show and seeing the vibe of the crowd and the musicians playing on stage. When I see the photos I’ve taken in the past, I see it as a time capsule for myself. I love keeping old photos of concerts on my phone so I can look back and experience the concert again in a different way.

Being Able To Connect An Online Audience

Okay, so I remember absolutely dissing Snapchat when it first launched and got it for the sake of having it (damn you, peer pressure!), but now I understand how cool the app is when it comes to concerts. We all have bills to pay for and realistically, we can’t afford to attend every single show there is. I managed to see Drake because some people I have on Snapchat were able to document their experience on their story. I just find that it’s really awesome to share your concert happenings with your friends, even when the FOMO feels are too real. Plus, the cost of a Snapchat story is priceless and won’t break your bank!

Remembering The Concert

I’ve attended many shows since I was 17 and man, some of the shows I’ve been to I’ve forgotten. I can pinpoint how many shows I’ve been to if it’s a band I love. This year, my favourite band Yellowcard broke up and I decided to attend all the shows I could afford in Sydney and Melbourne. The reason is, I knew it would be the last time I’d ever see them live.

I took so many photos and recorded some quick 1-minute videos on my phone and I know when I’ll look back on these, I’ll start to remember how I felt at that show. It doesn’t help that I’m getting old and my memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be – but it’s awesome how I’m able to document my experience on a smartphone. Technology never ceases to amaze me!


Distracts You From Experiencing The Live Show

I’ve got to admit that sometimes, I’ve been too focused on getting the right video or photo. However, I’ve gotten better at putting my phone down and experiencing the music live – just the way it is. Having a smartphone can be super distracting when it comes to a live show because you want to let everyone know on Snapchat that you’re doing something on a Friday or Saturday night.

Might Block Another Person’s View

Being just shy of 5ft, I get really annoyed when a person taller than me uses their phone constantly to record videos of a band that’s playing. It’s hypocritical because being short has its advantages (ie. being able to push in at the front) but with my luck, it always happens that there’s always a tall person that steps right in front of me during gigs. If only we could organise concert venues to get all the shorties up the front first – that would be the dream!

High Internet Usage Bills

Okay, so having a phone plan, as well as some sweet data usage, can be a great package but you gotta watch out for those extra charges applied to your phone plan. I know paying 10 bucks for that extra gigabyte of data may sound cheap, but it doesn’t when your phone bills turn out more than what you had in mind. Recording and uploading on social media can have its downfalls – be careful!

Overall, smartphones aren’t a bad idea to bring to concerts, so the idea of banning them would be weird at this day and age. We do, however, respect A Perfect Circle’s policy of ‘no phones’ and totally understand the intention behind it. I think we’ve all acknowledged that our phones are what we need to keep organised with work, our social lives and more. However, it’s healthy to keep your phone out of reach from time to time when it comes to concerts. Enjoy the experience – you did pay for it after all!

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