Selfie sticks banned at US festivals

Coachella and Lollapalooza warn ticket-holders ahead of events

This summer will see many festival-goers attempting to show off their selfie stick skills for the first time. But US festivals are now listing them as “prohibited items”. With only 12 days till the festival’s first weekend begins in Indio, California on April 10, Coachella organisers have stated that the devices are banned. Lollapalooza which takes place in Grant Park, Chicago on July 31 to August 2 this year has also issued a warning to those revellers looking to bring selfie sticks to the site.

As reported by Brooklyn Vegan the Frequently Asked Questions section on Lollapalooza’s site dictates that there should be no “GoPro attachments like sticks, selfie sticks & monopods.” The similar sectionof Coachella’s official site simply states that “Selfie sticks / Narcisists” are banned from attendance.

Other major US festivals such as Bonnaroo, Governors Ball and Sasquatch are yet to take a position on selfie sticks.
The decisions follow previous stipulations in the UK. Selfie sticks have been banned from major British music venues, including O2 Academy Brixton, London’s O2 Arena and the SSE Wembley Arena. The devices – elongated sticks that attach to a camera or phone to aid photo-taking – were among the best-selling gifts of Christmas 2014, but have been outlawed from a number of venues on health and safety grounds.

Speaking to NME about their decision to ban the devices, it was acknowledged that while taking pictures is part of live music for audiences, anything that blocks the view of others is not welcome.

“Selfies are a big part of the gig experience,” a spokesperson for the Wembley SSE Arena told NME. “The sticks might mean you are refused entry to the venue so our advice is don’t bring them and stick with the tried and tested use of an arm.”

The Academy Music Group, who own O2 Academy Brixton among others, added: “Selfie Sticks are not permitted at Academy Music Group venues. This is in keeping with our existing policy that prohibits the filming and photography during a performance with iPads and other tablet devices and includes any such obstructions for the satisfaction of other customers.”

AC/DC, Jack White and Drake will headline Coachella festival, which takes place across the weekends of April 10-12 and 17-19 on the Empire Polo Field site. The headliners for this year’s Lollapalooza are Paul McCartney, Metallica and Florence + The Machine.