A bright white phone screen distracts those trying to enjoy the live music at Jingle Bash. Dec. 8, 2018

Photo by Sarah Pinkowski

Don’t be one of those people; stop filming at concerts

January 4, 2019

Picture this: You’re standing on the floor of a concert venue waiting for your favorite artist or band to walk out on stage. The lights start to dim and the crowd goes wild, chanting their name over and over again. Then, they walk onstage. The hundreds of dollars you were so hesitant to spend on the tickets suddenly seem worth it until your view becomes obstructed by dozens of phones. The people around you are more interested in making sure the people viewing their SnapChat stories know that they’re at a concert rather than actually listening to the music. A few weeks ago, this was my reality.

I had been looking forward to this concert, Jingle Bash, for months. One of my favorite singers, Shawn Mendes, was going to be performing alongside Cardi B, Mike Posner and other talented artists and bands that I loved, and I was ecstatic. I was set on arriving an hour early to the venue, and with my coaxing, I convinced my brother and best friend to come along with me. As the seats started to fill and the DJ’s began hyping up the crowd, the room started to fill with excitement. The lights started to dim in anticipation of the first artist, but the room was still illuminated from the white screens of the audience’s phones and only got brighter once the artist came out on stage.

“The girls in front of us (at Jingle Bash) were on their phones the entire time,” said senior Nicki Anderson. “It was kind of annoying because we were trying to watch the concert and they were putting their phones up in the air to record the singers, which blocked everyone’s view around them.”

Not only is filming at concerts extremely annoying to the people trying to enjoy them, but it is also illegal. When concertgoers film part of a concert, even if it’s just a 10 second uploaded to their SnapChat, it is called bootlegging and the person is breaking federal law. Although it is rarely enforced due to the grand number of people attending these concerts, it can be punished with a hefty fine and a court impoundment of the recording (Billboard).

Throughout the past decade, numerous artists have spoken and acted upon the issue of fans recording at their concerts. Singers Alicia Keys and Jack White make concertgoers put their phones in Yondr pouches, pouches that lock your phones and hinder you from accessing them until the end of the concert, before they are able to step foot inside the venue, and the Lumineers are known to put on the house lights in the middle of their concerts to shame those on their phones.

It is clear that both artists and concertgoers alike are sick and tired of people putting more attention into taking a video of the concert rather than living in the moment and enjoying it. The next time you decide to whip out your phone or camera at a concert, just remember that you are not only breaking the law, you are annoying and disrespecting the people around you and the artist that is performing.

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