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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

An Open Letter to People Who Film at Concerts

11 December 2016
By: Josepha Pakesch

Are you aware of how disrupting your filming is to other concertgoers behind you?

In an age of cellphones, we all have a camera of high quality right on hand, at a second’s notice we can have a camera out and be filming anything that befalls our eye-line. But is it necessary to capture every second of every day? During a concert we are able to see the musicians whom we listen to on our cellphones, CDs and Record Players, perform live. We pay for the enjoyment of the concert, so why do you need to film continuously? Isn’t it more satisfying to enjoy the concert, to dance along with the music, to fully experience the show? It’s not like we ever watch these videos again, the sound quality is poor because of the singing and screaming surrounding us, the images are shaken because of the movement of the crowd and the quality of the video is questionable because of the zoom used at maximum in order to catch a glimpse of the performer.

The normality of filming a concert most likely came about with the invention of the iPhone nearly 10 years ago. If you attended a concert in the early 2000s you would have minimal amounts of people filming the musicians. The phones did not have the video capabilities and few people would bring cameras to shows. Attendants of concerts would enjoy the show firsthand instead of watching it through a small screen, making sure they got the perfect shot of the musicians.

I suppose, if you were in the seated portion of the concert, then it wouldn’t matter as much. You wouldn’t disrupt anybody’s view and would probably have a better chance at capturing a good video feed. But I hope that we can all agree that filming in the pit is disruptive, annoying and should just be stopped. And it’s not just annoying to the other people in the pit. Many musicians and bands ask their viewers not to film at the concerts yet they do it anyway. How do you imagine a band member to crowd surf if you are constantly focused on holding up your phone?

Very recently Apple have won a patent which could prevent concert goers from filming and taking pictures at concerts. With the use of infrared technology which would temporarily disable the camera functions in peoples iPhones, a more comfortable attendance. And it could also give musicians a better connection to their fans. But we don’t necessarily need this technology, we are all decent human beings who can respect other people’s wishes

Let’s start enjoying music again. Our society is so focused on all things retro, why can’t we watch concerts in retro style?

  • 1 January 2017 at 11:04 pm

    you are wrong

    • 4 January 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Wow, such an eloquent response. I totally see now that I was completely wrong in writing my opinions…