Last week Melbourne rock ‘n’ roll venue, Cherry Bar, proposed a ban on mobile phones during all live music sets. The anti-phone movement has been promoted by the likes of Adele and Jack White. But a Facebook post by the bar divided opinions. Some defended their right to film the concert they paid for, while others remained staunchly opposed.
Let me just say this: I am a self-appointed live music veteran. I didn’t spend my gap year building huts in a remote foreign community or finding myself in Europe. I have not travelled the world. However, I did attend about seven music festivals and even more live concerts within that time.
My name’s Lizzie. I’m twenty years old and I use my mobile phone to film at gigs. That’s right, I’m your worst nightmare. And I’m here to cut through the entitled bullshit that people use as reasons to ban phones at gigs.
“I hate when I pay money for a show and someone just films the whole set.”
First of all, that ‘someone’ paid too. And they have the right to enjoy the show however they please. I understand you might be pissy because it’s potentially your only chance to see your favourite act live, while they’re watching the set through a screen. But when, in the history of live music or mobile phones, has anybody ever filmed an entire show on their device? My money is they film one or two songs max, because, let’s face it, unless you’re at Stereosonic (which, sidenote: is not about the music at all), no one has the stamina, patience or phone battery to hold their arms up for a whole hour or two. And if they do, they probably deserve to have their own footage.
“I can’t see when someone’s phone is in my face.”
In what situation does someone else film a performance with the phone situated directly in front of the face of another? If anything, their arms are stretched slightly upwards to reach over the heads of the others in front of them. And believe me, I know that moshes and crowds are tightly packed. There are sweaty, drunk people every which way and it’s hard to move. But when there’s a will, there’s a way. Look through the gap in that person’s arms. Shuffle slightly to one side. Just make sure when you find the perfect viewing position, widen your stance to more than shoulder-width apart and put your hands on your hips with your elbows out (since you’re obviously not going to need them for your phone). That way, if anyone tries to push you, you’re on solid ground and they know that you are unmovable.
“I’m too short and can’t see over the people holding their phones up.”