Posted in Words

Watch the artist, not the screen…

With more access to gigs, stage shows and live art than ever before, why are we so intent on showing artists the backs of our phones?

We all know the scene: you’re at a gig – which you probably paid £100+ to attend – and you want to ‘capture the moment.’ Or, more likely, you want to show the world how close you are to the stage. So whilst Beyonce/Gaga/Miley are working their butt off twerking and thrashing around, everyone is watching them…through a phone screen.

Funnily enough, this isn’t sitting well with artists… at all:


Artists are putting on a show for you – the fans who’ve paid to see and support them. They aren’t putting on a show for half of Instagram (who probably won’t watch your video anyway). It’s no wonder that many are now banning smart phones from their gigs. Artists want to see the audience enjoying their efforts, connecting with the songs and joining in with the lyrics.

Last year, Beyoncé berated one of her fans at a gig for filming. “You can’t even sing because you’re too busy taping,” Beyoncé told him. “I’m right in your face, baby. You gotta seize this moment. Put that damn camera down!”

It’s not just about the artists; their teams also put a lot of effort into planning the tour. The special effects, costumes and surprise guests are planned months in advance, and only revealed to the paying fans each night.

 “From an artists perspective, fan-filmed footage can ruin the intrigue and surprise of a live performance.”

Recently pop-legend Kate Bush completed a series of small intimate comeback shows in London. She specifically requested that no photography or filming took place during her performances:

“I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras. I know it’s a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share the experience together.”

In our desperate attempt to document the moment, are we missing the moment completely? Gigs are not just about proving that you were there… Go for the atmosphere, the music, the feeling of belonging to a tribe of likeminded fans, and of course, go for the buzz of finally being able to share a room with your music idols.



Digital Copywriter. Background in visual communications, brand management, visual merchandising and retail management.

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