Former White Stripes frontman Jack White has announced that fans are no longer allowed to use their mobile phones at his live gigs. This news has come following the announcement of his first UK tour in four years, which will follow the release of his forthcoming album Boarding House Reach.
The tour kicks off in the US in April and will reach the UK in June. In his statement White said, “no photos, video or audio recording devices allowed.” The statement also encouraged a 100% human experience, “we think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON."
The gadget-free gigs will be enforced by Yondr pouches. Whilst attendees will keep possession of their devices, all gig-goers will be required to secure phones and video capturing devices in a Yondr lockable case. Yondr pouches will be unlockable at a Yondr phone zone, usually located in the lobby and concourse of a venue.
To calm the worries of those wanting to capture moments from the gig, White and his team have provided a solution. "Our official tour photographer will be posting photos and videos after the show at jackwhiteiii.com and the new Jack White Live Instagram account @officialjackwhitelive," the statement reads. "Repost our photos & videos as much as you want and enjoy a phone-free, 100% human experience.”
With consideration of the power of social media exposure for artists, we spoke to fast-growing artist Luke Rathborne, unearthed on TalentAI, to tell us what he thought of the news.
What do you think of Jack's decision and is it something you support?
I recently went to a Dave Chapelle stand up show at Radio City Music Hall. At the show the same system to lock up phones was in place. I think human beings can be a bit competitive and part of seeing a live show is paying to get the photo to show your friends on social media. I don’t think there’s any easy solution, but I definitely didn’t feel put out watching a performance without a cell phone. It was fun and waiting for the show to start made you remember the sensation of not having the instant gratification of your cell phone on hand at all times.
Should fans have the right to take their own photos/videos having paid for a ticket?
Of course the power should be with the fans to experience a show in whatever way they like. Sometimes it’s more of a discretionary thing. At the Dave Chapelle show there was a knowledge that if his new stand up set ended up online (he was filming a new special) that it would spoil the ability to have new material unleashed at the correct date and time.
There are different circumstances. Some artists are probably put out or nervous feeling their audience is disconnected behind screens instead of in the moment for their performance. It will always have to be case by case, and if a musician or performer enforced this I’d imagine most fans wouldn’t have an issue as the pull to see them was bigger than having their phone for a few hours.
What is the future of phones in the live music setting?
A lot of performers are lucky to have phones at their shows. It increases the amount of people being able to see what they’re doing and is almost like free promotion.
Would you be interested in applying similar rules at your gigs?
Definitely not. I don’t care what people do at my shows. Just don’t throw a shoe at me!
Luke’s latest single ‘I Can Be One’ is a stunningly soft, yet haunting effort, which has been featured on Zuhause, Peaceful Ambient Indie and Rockin’ Vibes playlists. With this, the NYC-based artist’s total playlist following has exceeded 1.2million (TalentAI). You can check out his incredible new single here. Also, if you see him live, make use of your gadget freedom and take lots of photos!