Yondr Phone Pouches At Concerts

[just posted something thinking I was in another thread, so deleted]

I seem to recall hearing something on the news in the past two or three weeks suggesting that now smartphones have been available to young children for several years, almost universally among teenagers and younger for maybe a decade, the adverse effects on their development and social behaviour are becoming apparent, with hints that there need to be much stronger limitations than hitherto. I didn’t pay much attention as I don’t have children in that age group, but it struck a chord with my own feelings.

As I ventured in an earlier post I think much of social media - e.g Facebook and Twitter are evil, or more specifically the culture that has developed around them is actually antisocial not social at all, and is that that is evil.

I went to the two gigs he did at Manchester Apollo that year and thought it was wonderful. Ambulance Blues played acoustically showed what a genius Neil is. I can’t imagine many people being able to play that complex and magic track like him.

I’ve a link for you which says the exact opposite of this. I’ll post it later when I’m home. Only a Guardian article so probably easily found. From 2 researchers basically saying that for all the assertions the current evidence is simply not research based.

Well that’s the beauty of music 10 different people can have 10 different reactions to it. What one man finds beautiful another finds dull and thank god think how boring it would be if we all liked the same things.

The fact that there may not be sound research saying this doesn’t mean it isn’t true, unless that is that there is sound research showing that the use of social media, especially among young schoolchildren, is not detrimental.

You are right, however if some people at a gig who have paid to go and see it are enjoying it, isn’t it wrong for other people to spoil that for them? If others find if unenjoyable shouldn’t they just leave, or at least keep their disquiet from stopping those that are enjoying it from continuing to do so?

This is not seeking to be critical of you, but asking from the point of view of establishing general principles of reasonable, considerate behaviour.

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I’ll dig it out.

Here you go.

I do think it will affect some but I’m an empiricist. Show me the evidence.

Interesting to note that the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil liberties organisations stand resolutely opposed to Yondr and anything with similar aims because they shut down the many positive things with said devices at gigs. That’s some pretty heavyweight opposition.

Mobile phones played a critical role in quickly understanding the terrible events at the Bataclan for example.

There is also now an active campaign to film groping at gigs which has led to a huge surge in awareness; retracing for security and venue staff and several expulsions.

Good article here on the quiet music movement too.

Finally, Early Registration has a lighter more modern take on the whole thing at https://theearlyregistration.com/2014/10/20/uncut-why-artists-and-venues-should-not-create-yondrs-phone-free-zones/

but I do think it’s good at nailing one of the specific hypocrisies of this argument when it observed that

“Wanting to re-live the moment from the first time you saw your favorite artist live does not mean you are not living in the moment. It takes very little effort to press a red button and hold up phones that today are almost paper-thin. Having shot photography at many concerts, while at times I literally have to stare through a lens, I am still living in the moment and enjoying the music to the fullest. It isn’t the kid with an iPhone not experiencing the moment, its the kid who snuck in a water bottle of vodka in front of him who looks like he is about to pass out.”

Filming an artist at a gig can create numerous issues but not “living in the moment” is not one of them. Few people I see filming gigs mediate that through their devices. They just hit the red button and carry on watching. Looking at Facebook on the other hand is clearly not living in the moment.

Social media is the opium of the people. It’s strange. I mean there is social media forum, where grown people argue about the merits of using Vodka instead of a well spec’d Ethernet cable. I know you couldn’t make this kind of thing up and get them started on politics and …

Bullying and unpleasant behaviour has been prevalent among children for years, social media is just another way of doing it. Most kids are pretty good though. I thought the government were going to put a filter on the Internet to protect us all from nasty content.

When I was young I was encouraged to read books instead of trying to play cricket and sing & play guitar in a folk band. There are almost no books (Douglas Adams and Michael Moorcock excepted) in my cottage these days and I don’t read fiction as most of it seems made up. Audiobooks are OK though.

As for concerts, people talking is one reason I don’t go much. I’m really not there to watch or listen to the audience. I’d like to hear the artist.

The OP’s question here is should a venue/artist be able to restrict access (by Yondr, whatever measure) to what are often nowadays multi-functional personal communications and recording devices, as part of the T&C’s for going to a concert, gig, show or equivalent. My view is YES.

Obviously some artist(e)s don’t mind (e.g. Coldplay/Adele), as their use as a light beacon of sorts adds to the theatre of the event. Unfortunately, as with many things in life these devices bring with them features, personal behaviours & actions, some of which can be termed anti-social in some settings e.g. ‘phones ringing in the middle of sporting events like snooker, plus there is the vexing issue of copyright around performances, noting this isn’t a new issue what with unauthorised ‘bootleg’ recordings & issuances et al.

It’s all a question of decision weighting and balance around the acceptability of the potential behaviours/actions as, from experience, it’s clear that notwithstanding very clearly stated T&C’s when purchasing a ticket and signage/PA announcements at venues, some people still don’t adhere to such terms whether by accident or design. The right/need to evict a non-compliant person is not a practical solution in many cases.

If you cannot accept these T&C’s you shouldn’t attend – so any commentary from people about wanting to attend but needing to stay in contact during their attendance is irrelevant (unless someone thinks that access to and use of a mobile device at all times is now a protected legal right of an individual?). Life’s not always accommodating.

As to the rationale & drivers used in determining the imposition of any restriction, then you can reflect on these and make your own judgements to accept or reject. The social media aspect is but one, noting how these channels can be used as unofficial broadcast mediums nowadays, thereby playing fast and loose with underlying legal rights issues.

If a band/performer wants an audience’s full attention and not to have many of them staring at their laps and tapping on a keypad during their performance, that’s fine by me – their house, their rules. If demand for tickets is low, the message is clear.


I agree with your post, except:

There can be genuine excepyions, for exampe you have young children being ‘babysat’ and there is a medical emergency, or if you are contractually obliged to be on call at all times for work. But for that a phone can and should be in silent mode, and the individual leave the auditorium to take the call or call back - the requirement at the event is not to disturb others, and whilst there is disturbance leaving your seat, it is minor compared to taking a call during a quiet music passage, or in the middle of a play …or indeed during a snooker game.

IB - I empathise with these circumstances and my words around ‘during their attendance’ were meant to reflect potential in-seat communications.

The Yondr web-page isn’t 100% clear to my eyes on how the system operates (it seems to be like the clothes’ tagging arrangements, having a magnetic release code for the pouch lock?) - I assume a moby will continue to receive signal while in the pouch and that it’s a requirement to set it to ‘silent mode’/turn it off when it’s put in the pouch. Or is the pouch a quasi-Faraday cage? - I suspect not.

So, emergency needs, are accommodated as you outline.

@HappyListener - the pouch simply locks the phone inside it, so you can’t use it. Doesn’t matter if it’s on or off. When you leave the concert you pass the pouch over an electronic reader and it releases the lock. You then put the pouch in a recycling bin and leave the venue.

At the Jack White concert at the Hammersmith Apollo last year, there was a special room where you could go to make calls or look at your mobile, but the phone had to go back into the pouch before you left said area.

It worked really well, and was very quick.

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Not good if it is not turned off or to silent ring!

@TheKevster - thanks Kevin. Out of interest and as @Innocent_Bystander identifies, does the device need to be set to silent mode/off when installing in to the pouch?

Or is there some tech involved in somehow ‘dumbing’ the device when it’s in the pouch?

I have a vision of lots of devices ringing mid-concert (like the ‘Nokia Choir’ of days gone by), with parties having to exit the auditorium to turn them off!

Another plea along the same lines.

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