UK music venues ban ‘hazardous’ selfie sticks from gigs

One of Christmas 2014's best-selling gifts barred on health and safety grounds

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.”

The O2 Arena, the UK’s biggest indoor music venue, urged gig goers to leave the devices behind when they attend a gig there. “The O2 do not allow selfie sticks into the arena due to safety considerations. We welcome selfies, but please leave the stick at home.”

The music venues decision follows similar bans for selfie sticks from selected football stadiums, including Tottenham Hotspurs’ White Hart Lane and Arsenal’s Emirates stadium.