Melbourne’s Cherry Bar introduces mobile phone ban for live music events
A Melbourne live music venue is introducing a ban on patrons filming performances on their mobile phones.
James Young, the owner of Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane, said the ban would take immediate effect.
“We’re not going to slap phones out of people’s hands,” Mr Young said, adding that patrons would be free to take a quick snap of a band.
“Live music is the last bastion of human connection — you don’t need a phone screen between the audience and the artist.
“I think it’s very selfish, it’s very inconsiderate of the other punters, I think the band members don’t like it, and I think it’s time for a change.”
Mr Young said mobile phone use at gigs was worse than ever, and the issue was not confined to musical performances.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival director Susan Provan said the festival’s policy was recording was banned, but this was difficult to police.
“We have to rely on people’s good manners,” she said.
“There’s nothing more distracting than standing or sitting next to someone at a gig, and the light’s coming out of their phone.
“For comedians, their work is very carefully crafted, they don’t want their jokes going out into the big wide world ahead of the next audience, because it spoils it for the next audience.
“Once a joke has gone out there, it’s burnt.”
Mr Young said he had received “99 per cent” support for the ban since proposing it on Facebook on Tuesday.
“Holding up your phone and filming an entire song is just not on,” Mr Young wrote on Facebook.
“It blocks the view of those behind you, it distracts the band and it’s just uncool.
“Holding up your phone and filming songs at a live music gig is just not rock n roll. And at all times Cherry Bar must stand up for rock n roll.”
By 9:30am, the Facebook post had received 1,300 likes, 172 loves, 17 laughs, six angry faces and two shocked faces.
The post has also drawn more than 500 comments, including the following:
“I reckon let people live in the moment however they want. If their idea of living in the moment is holding a camera up to film a show, go for it.”
— John P Conlan
“Yes! Start a trend. I’ve seen people stand there and film a whole show. They are so busy looking at the camera that they miss the whole gig. And do they really watch it later? Never understood it.”
— Jamie O’Shea
“It is distracting, rude and annoying. Not to mention the idiots that push their way to the front when the one song they know comes on only to hold a phone up…”
— Robert James
“Have to accept change when it comes to what’s rock n roll. Dave Grohl is probably the most rock n roll dude out there and embraces the mobile phone spotlight at his gigs. If anyone went to FF (Foo Fighters) in Melbourne recently, you would agree the thousands of lights from the mobiles was humbling when Dave asked everyone to show them.”
— Michael Stephens
“I have some amazing and rare footage of bands I’ve seen because I like to capture the moment. I get why people hate this, but I’m a snapper. Rules aren’t very Rock n Roll either… so I’d probably break them anyway.”
— Nicole Warsome
“I totally agree — a quick snap or a quick snippet of film is ok but there’s lots of footage of bands out there, even live material, there’s no need & yes, it’s just not rock n’ roll!”
— Amy Macit
“Do it. This drives me insane. You are trying to watch a gig and be in the moment and there are three phones in front of your face blocking your view. People are missing the immediacy and intimacy of being at a live gig. If you want to watch an act on your phone, log in to YouTube!”
— Cherelle Latta
“Absolutely yes Cherry! Have never understood why people feel the need to film — there’s millions of videos on YouTube anyway. I take a few photos every gig but anything more than that is total overkill!”
— Daniel Jack Paproth
“Couldn’t be more in favour. A cheeky snap for the memories is one thing. Filming a song when you could be watching through your eyes is another.”
— Laura T Oakley
“Can we ban people wearing cowboy hats at seated venues too. Kinda hard to see the show with someone wearing a big hat in front of you.”
— Andrew Limanis