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Live events: no-go for mobile phones?

Mobile phone at festivals

Allowing mobile phones at gigs is an issue that has been hotly debated

Over a quarter of young people (27 per cent) think mobile phones should be banned at live music events because filming and photography is distracting and takes away from the experience. The data comes from a new survey released today by event guide and ticketing outlet Skiddle.

Skiddle had questioned over 1,200 young people between the ages of 16-30 about the use of mobile phones at gigs and festivals. The research was undertaken between 20 and 23 November 2017.

The survey has also revealed that:

  • Filming and photography with mobile phone is distracting (37 per cent)
  • Mobile phones take away from the experience (34 per cent)
  • One fifth (20 per cent) said they block your view of the artist or band
  • 8 per cent said filming and photography was disrespectful to the artist or band

Of the 74 per cent who said mobile phones shouldn’t be banned; over half (52 per cent) of young people said they capture footage because they like to relive the experience once they have left the event.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they like to share the music experience on social media and 13 per cent said if they have bought a ticket it is their right to use their phones as they wish.

Divided opinions

“The issue of banning mobile phones at gigs is one that has been hotly debated in recent months, and it’s certainly a subject which almost everyone has a strong opinion on,” Ben Sebborn, Skiddle director and co-founder, commented. “We found the results of this survey particularly interesting because of the age of respondents.”

Sebborn pointed out that, typically, banning filming and photography is an opinion most commonly associated with older generations – however, this survey shows that many younger people agree that live music experiences are best enjoyed without handheld technology present.

“Despite the issue been highlighted by artists, gig-goers and venues on an almost weekly basis, it does appear that an overwhelming majority (74 per cent) think that filming and photography should be allowed at live music events, which shows any crackdown will result in a high proportion of unsatisfied music fans.

“Whatever your opinion, it’s clear that this is a contentious issue that isn’t going to go away and it will be interesting to watch the debate unfold as opinion becomes more and more divided,” he concluded.

Skiddle was launched in May 2001 as a university project between friends Richard Dyer and Ben Sebborn and has grown to be one of the biggest and busiest event guides and ticketing agents in the UK. Based in Lancashire, Skiddle in an independent platform to ticketing.