Last night, we went to see a gig and decided to leave our phones in our bags. And it felt so good! But we couldn’t help but wonder: is it still possible in our modern times to unplug and stop filming or taking photos during gigs?

Picture this: you’re at a concert, your favorite band is onstage, the crowd is jumping, and the music is rad. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and what are you doing? You’re looking at your smartphone, desperately trying to capture the perfect story for Instagram. Time for an intervention… Let the debate begin!

Why Smartphones Rock in Concerts

We all love taking concert photos and videos and there are many good reasons for it. Who wouldn’t want a memory of that epic guitar solo or the singer’s impetuous moves? Plus, sharing these moments on social media gives so many occasions to chat.

At concerts, snapping photos and recording videos of your favorite artists is a great way to capture the excitement of the moment. We, personally, love sharing these on social media platforms and connecting with fellow fans and music lovers worldwide.

Person holding a phone during a gig
Nice shot incoming © Mantas Hesthaven

But that’s not all: smartphones are so freaking convenient! With e-tickets and digital wallets, you can easily store your ticket and make quick, contactless payments for drinks and merch at the venue. Plus you can get real-time updates from the artist in case of trouble.

Not to mention music identification apps like Shazam that let you instantly identify songs played during the concert… So yeah, leaving the phones in our bags might be tricky.

The Downside of Phones at Gigs: Is It Time to Put the Screens Down?

While you’re taking that shot, fidgeting with the camera parameters, you might be missing out on the very thing you paid for—live artists! Can you capture the exhilaration of being in the crowd? No, you can’t. Can you capture how live music makes your heart beat faster? Again: nope.

And let’s not forget about the most annoying thing: the army of glowy screens, blinding every fellow standing right behind. What about the music lovers who can’t see a thing because you’re holding your phone above your head? Maybe it’s time to give these poor people a break. Just like you, they paid to see the artist, not a smartphone.

People watching a concert with their phones above their heads
Are these audiophiles enjoying the live experience? Not sure. © Harrison Haines

Not to mention the musicians, who can feel very frustrated by the whole thing. A lot of them are banning these devices from their show, hoping to reconnect with their audience. Jack White is locking concertgoers’ phones in pouches. Bjork straight-up banned smartphones.

And then, there’s this huge problem: isn’t recording a whole gig… stealing? We still remember the infamous bootleg era and tons of pirate recordings flooding the internet, reaping out the artists from their creations and work. Are videos making things better? We think not.

Smartphone during Concerts: is it possible to find the right balance?

But wait. We’re not monsters, here. Maybe there’s a middle path that just waits to be discovered, guys. And we believe a few changes can be made to improve the situation :

  • Before the concert starts, put your smartphone on silent mode. This way, you can appreciate the live experience without disturbing other people with lousy ringtones.
  • Avoid using the flash when taking photos.
  • Capture only the highlights and put your device away to immerse yourself in the live performance.
  • When snapping pics or shooting videos, refrain from raising your arm and annoying all your fellow concertgoers.
  • Last but not least, don’t flood the social networks and share your shots and recordings responsibly.

Phones sure hold a significant place in the concert aficionado’s toolkit. But it doesn’t mean it has to become a threat to the live experience. When used responsibly, these devices can be a nice add-on to our music experiences, and, with conjugated efforts, we can all make things better. Don’t you think?

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