CommunityNo phones on the dance-floor: time to call for an all-out ban, or are they really THAT bad? 🤳

No phones on the dance-floor: time to call for an all-out ban, or are they really THAT bad? 🤳

Over the years it’s been established that camera-phone usage at clubs and festivals is unpopular – but only when other people are doing it! 

Since the dawn of all things snapchat and tik-tok, high-profile DJs and venues such as Fabric and The Warehouse project have been talking about this issue and how it affects the vibe.

A whole host of think pieces and opinion columns over the years have also been published on the subject, with some suggesting the mass implementation of Berghain’s infamous no-photo policy as a way to protect the nightlife and most importantly keep that dance floor moving!

From what I can see and looking over numerous articles it’s close to 70-80% of us who find this irritating, being trapped behind that arm in the air with a non-moving clubber, essentially filming the whole set. 

If you want to take a few clips then fine, but come on, we are here to dance together. If you don’t want to dance then give us back the space.

From the DJ perspective it’s an array of lights gazing at you, with the intimacy we once felt as clubbers often lost. 

Humans aren’t meant to experience life from behind a screen. Especially at a communal event like a festival, where sharing a physical experience that can’t easily be replicated in the digital realm is a big part of what makes it so special. It’s just not as fun to stand there filming, and that has a knock-on effect throughout the crowd. 

So if all of this is true — Why? Well, because we’re all a little selfish these days… Posting our lives, showing off our experiences has become so ingrained, it almost feels scary to remove the device for an evening out. 

In short this means it’s going to have to come down to venues, and to a lesser extent, artists, to do something. Despite the common understanding that cracking down would alienate fans, surveys show that a majority of people feel strongly about supporting measures that might limit mobile phone usage at live events.

My personal favourite is creating ”no phone zones,” audience “spot-checks” for over-filming, or more popularly, “gentle nudges” by venue staff to make phones more discrete, which many clubbers say they’d be in favour of.

Whether it’s more no-photo policies at clubs beyond Berlin, signs posted around dancefloors asking patrons to keep their phones pocketed, security offering gentle reminders to stop patrons from over-filming, or other alternatives, the support is there. 

What happens next is up to us.  Reach for the iPhone “safe as ****”

Words: Ben Haigh
Image credit: IDM-Mag