Gig-goers call for measures on mobile phone photography

Mobile phone photography at a gig

The majority of British gig-goers would support measures to reduce mobile phone filming and photography at live shows, according to new research.

Ticketing platform Eventbrite conducted the survey of over 1,000 people and found that 70 percent find it irritating when others take pictures and videos during performances, while 69 percent would support measures to reduce filming and photographing with phones.

Of those surveyed, 65 percent said using their phone to take pictures at a gig could make them feel as if they were missing out on the event itself. However, more than a third agreed that taking pictures or videos was an important part of the live experience.

Of those who have attended a live ticketed event in the last 12months, 49 percent said they took photos and videos – with the figure rising to 62 percent among 18 to 24 and 35 to 44 year-olds.

The majority said they would support action against mobile phone use, such as creating no phone zones (13 percent), gentle reminders to make phones more discrete (41 percent), or audience spot-checks for over-filming (17 percent).

Commenting on the research, Dr Lee Hadlington, associate professor in cyberpsychology at De Montfort University in Leicester said: ‘You’ve got a paradox. People are saying, “It’s OK if I use my phone at an event – because I want to get this special photo – but when someone else does it, that’s really annoying.”’

Eventbrite’s head of marketing Katie McPhee said: ‘Go to any stadium gig and you’ll be met with a forest of arms holding up mobiles and blocking lines of sight, so people behind feel irritated.

‘Our report confirms that there is a general agreement between audiences, artists and promoters that using your phone during a live performance can be detrimental to the live experience – both for yourself and for those around you – and that it should be managed.

‘We hope that our new report provides a starting point for a healthy discussion on how we can all ensure to make the most out of live experiences with or without our mobile phones.’

The Association For Electronic Music’s general manager Greg Marshall added: ‘Capturing a video or picture moment from a show is clearly important to a lot of event attendees, but it can also cause annoyance to others particularly if phones are held up excessively. We should look to strike a balance to ensure that both viewpoints are respected.’