#NoPhonesAllowed – A Local Live Music Experience

How do you enjoy live music if you’re looking at it from your mobile phone? Image from Pexels

Social media has made it possible for us to document every facet of our life and share them with our family, friends, and even the public. If something awesome or memorable happens to us, we always feel the need to capture the moment with a picture or a video.

We live in a “pics or it didn’t happen” culture, in a landscape that sometimes panders to the existence of the content rather than the actual content. So when you tell everyone that you just attended an awesome gig, chances are you’ll be asked “Got any pictures?” instead of “How did it go?”

Phones in Gigs and Concerts

Let’s be honest. Every time there’s a concert, we are guilty of raising our phones in front of the performers. Sadly, not only are we blocking someone’s view, but we are also defeating the purpose of a live performance and its mere enjoyment.

Several artists have spoken about their dislike toward their audience using phones during their shows. Some have experienced rude and insensitive fans using their phones during their show, while others like Alicia Keys and Jack White have actively discouraged video recording and taking pictures during their shows.

#NoPhonesAllowed

Image from Flickr

Indie Manila, a local nonprofit production, launched its first “No Phones Allowed” gig on July 6, 2018, during the third instalment of their John Mayer tribute night. According to the production, the No Phones Allowed movement aims to let the younger generation experience live music the way older generations did without the interference of mobile gadgets.

The movement was created in response to the feedback Indie Manila has received regarding local bars being swarmed by mobile phones. Indie Manila encourages other local productions to adopt the movement and do the same at their gigs.

No Pics – But It Did Happen

Image from Flickr

In the spirit of the No Phones Allowed movement, I do not have any photos and videos to show you about my attendance to this gig, so I guess you just have to believe me.

I arrived 45 minutes after the show started, which was a mistake. I totally forgot that I was attending a John Mayer night, which has always been a hit with gig-goers. I got past the gate, but I got stuck at the door and so did lots of other people as the bar was already packed. The only time I was able to squeeze myself inside was when people exited the bar. The crowd would make room, and I moved along with the flow.

Yan Abelardo’s set was over when I managed to get in, but I still could not see the stage from where I was standing. It was a shame because Blaster Silonga of IV of Spades was up next. He had a great set, and his guitar skills captured the signature guitar riffs and solos of John Mayer songs. Dane Hipolito, with his soulful vocals, treated the crowd to a surprise jam session with Blaster.

Fun and quirky bands Grabety and Metro Fantastic followed and rocked the stage. The audience, who sang their hearts out and waved their hands up earlier, danced to the funky and upbeat covers and originals of the bands.

After every artist left the stage, the host came up and reminded people of the house rules.

Phones were allowed during the first song of every set. There were no bouncers who went around and took people’s phones. It was a simple system based on trust. And it was successful. Everyone followed the rules, and it was evident that they enjoyed the night.

What do you think about this movement?

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