Are Camera Phones Making Memories Or Ruining Gigs?

In this week’s NME, writer Gavin Haynes investigates the backlash that some bands are launching against people recording their shows on their camera phones. As anyone who’s been to a gig or festival will know, the sea of twinkling sceens recording clips and taking photos is now ubiquitous – but is this ruining the show for everyone else? Has anyone ever actually recorded a decent video from the crowd? On the other hand, shouldn’t people be free to capture memories of moments that are special to them (and that they’ve often paid serious money to enjoy)? Let us know where you stand by getting in touch on Facebook, Twitter, by email to or in the comments below.

Lots of our favourite bands have already weighed in. Biffy Clyro’s Ben Johnston is supportive of the budding Spielbergs, saying:

“I’ve got no problem with people making Vines at gigs. I think almost everyone’s life is online all the time at the moment. It’s difficult. I’m a user of Vine. I think it’s a wonderful app. You can get some really funny things happening on it.”

Yannis Philippakis of Foals disagrees, saying:

“It’s part of a wider temptation to want to go to an aquarium, and instead of looking at the fish you take photos of the fish so that you can show your friends and pretend that you understand what a barramundi is. I think it’s better just to go and experience the gig.”


Good point on the barramundi. All too easy to confuse with the cod. Meanwhile, Julie Edwards of Deap Vally doesn’t mind it:

“I definitely don’t hate people filming at our gigs. I think hate is kind of a drag. So I guess my message would be that people should be allowed to film if they want. What’s the big deal? That’s a white problem if ever I heard one.”

While bandmate Lindsey Troy would rather you didn’t:

“I’m going to counter that and say that I would encourage people to try to just live in the moment and remember it with their memory. Maybe film in moderation.”

Johnny Marr, unsurprisingly, doesn’t pull a single punch:

“To stand and just be looking at it through my phone is a completely wasted opportunity. I don’t mean to be unkind but I think you should put your phone down ‘cause you’re just being a dick. Just enjoy the gig because… it’s a dick job, filming the show. Let someone else be the dick and watch it on YouTube. You’re really missing the sensory experience. One of the things about being at gigs is taking in what’s going on with the people around you. Watching it on a little screen? What a waste of time.”

Watch the video below for more from Miles Kane, Liam Fray and Alt-J, and get in touch to let us know where you stand:,AAAAABumiUU~,CmZu1qzq0NxH9q1TPaWHp8jEpvSTRUYG&bctid=2564838453001

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