Mobile phones banned at London shows

From Planet Rock.

Mobile phones banned at two London Eventim Apollo gigs.

Mobile phones have been banned at two upcoming London Eventim Apollo gigs so fans can enjoy a “100% human experience.”

Former White Stripes singer Jack White has taken the bold move to ban phones, video and audio recording devices at all his North American headline shows and two dates at London Eventim Apollo in June.

Jack White will be utilising a patented system from San Francisco-based technology firm Yondr to create completely a phone-free space.

Upon entry to the phone-free area of the venue, phones will be placed into a Yondr case that will then lock. The phone remains in your possession inside the pouch, and, in order to use your phone, you must step outside and tap it on an ‘unlocking base.’

Jack White © PA Images

A note explaining Jack White’s move to ban phones reads: “No photos, video or audio recording devices allowed. We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON.

“Upon arrival at the venue, all phones and other photo or video-capturing gizmos will be secured in a Yondr pouch that will be unlocked at the end of the show. You keep your pouch-secured phone on you during the show and, if needed, can unlock your phone at any time in a designated Yondr Phone Zone located in the lobby or concourse.

“For those looking to do some social media postings, let us help you with that. Our official tour photographer will be posting photos and videos after the show at jackwhiteiii.com and the new Jack White Live Instagram account @officialjackwhitelive. Repost our photos & videos as much as you want and enjoy a phone-free, 100% human experience.”

The two Eventim Apollo shows went on sale this morning. For ticket availability head to Planet Rock Tickets.

Kate Bush ‘Before The Dawn’ © PA Images

Of course, Jack White isn’t the first artist to introduce a strict ‘no mobile phones’ policy at their shows. Kate Bush politely requested that fans didn’t use their phones at her 22-date ‘Before The Dawn’ residency at London Eventim Apollo in 2014.

She said to fans: “I have a request for all of you who are coming to the shows. We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows.

“I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras. I know it’s a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.”

Similarly, enigmatic rocker Maynard James Keenan prohibits the use of phones at shows for all of his bands; Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.

A Perfect Circle © Press

Although Keenan’s shows don’t utilise Yondr, there are ‘no phones’ warning signs at venue entrances and there’s a custom message displayed on video screens before the band’s set.

Last November, it was reported that 60 fans were ejected from A Perfect Circle gig for defying the orders.

Defending the move, guitarist Billy Howerdel told the Montreal Gazette: “First of all, it’s just rude. Putting up a phone in front of someone’s face so they get to watch the show through it? Getting a memento of the show – sure, I’ve done it myself. But then you ask, ‘What am I gonna do with this?’

“The other point is – people talking about the show is so much more powerful. We’re inundated with videos and images, and getting back to a campfire conversation, letting people express how they felt in the experience – it says something more.

“And it speaks to, what does the music mean to you, and how do you want to tether it to your experiences in your life?”

He added to Billboard: “The videos that you take and for your own benefit, you put online — they look like s*** and they sound like s***. We’d rather you communicate this orally; let people know what you saw and how you felt. It’s much more powerful than giving a bad representation.”

Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor hit the headlines in July 2016 when he slapped a phone out of the hands of a fan at a Slipknot concert. You can watch the moment here:

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1 Comment

  1. This is quite interesting as opinion seems to be divided with just a small amount seeming to lean against it.

    My feeling is that if artists can go to all this trouble to stop fans using phones at gigs then they can also sort out rip off ticket agencies selling the best tickets at inflated prices.

    The overall gig experience is losing its edge..you have to log on to the ticket site well in advance to get a chance of getting a ticket and pay another 20%+ in fees and booking costs Then you have the hastle of getting there, the extortionate merchandise prices, if I take a bottle of water to a gig that gets confiscated, go through layers of security checks because I have the audacity to have a bag and now my phone has to be checked…I like Jack White and he’s great live..but travelling to see him on a Tuesday night in Hammersmith with all this hastle…it’s no longer worth it to me..i’ll vote with my wallet and stay at home…enjoy the gig.

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